A Mouth Guard Protects Your Teeth From Clenching and Grinding
Are you a night grinder?
Teeth grinding is when you clench your top and bottom teeth together or grind your teeth back and forth over each other. Because it’s a subconscious muscle activity, most people who grind or clench aren’t aware of the habit.
It is estimated that 10-15 percent of Americans moderately or severely grind their teeth. Normally, we exert about 20 to 30 pounds per square inch on our back molars when we chew. Teeth grinders, especially those that grind at night without restraint, can exert as much as 200 pounds per square inch on their teeth.
The relentless wear and tear at night from grinding can quickly erode enamel, fracture teeth, affect bite and damage the temporomandibular joint at the hinge of the jaw, and the masseter muscle, which controls the jaws. Jaw and face pain as well as earaches and headaches may also occur.
The Mouth Guard Protects Your Teeth As Well as New Dental Work
Dr. Pete will often recommend a dental appliance when it’s noted during a visit that a patient grinds or clenches their teeth. This helps protect the teeth from the accelerated wear or uneven wearing down of the teeth from this habit. Over time, the habit of bringing the teeth together forcefully causes dental problems. The custom Night Guard appliance is worn during sleep. Often Dr. Pete will recommend the patient also drink a hot calcium magnesium drink before bed to relieve the muscle tension associated with clenching and grinding.
A Night Guard is also recommended after a patient completes a large treatment program. This protects the patient’s investment in their new smile.