Occlusal guards are designed to protect the surfaces of your teeth used for chewing and to help with gum recession. Your dentist at Brady Dental Group in Amarillo may recommend occlusal guards if you often damage those surfaces by grinding or clenching your teeth. Also referred to as a bite guard, bite splint, or nightguard, an occlusal guard is simply a removable appliance that snugly fits over your lower or upper teeth. This prevents damage to your teeth when you grind and clench. The experts at Brady Dental Group in Amarillo can help.
Occlusal guards can also alleviate symptoms associated with bruxism, such as jaw pain, neck, and head muscle pain, tooth sensitivity, tooth wear and fracture, and headaches. Although occlusal guards are similar in appearance to sports mouthguards, they are typically less bulky as they are made of thinner, smoother material and help protect the teeth and TMJ differently. Moreover, occlusal guards can be custom-made to fit your mouth exactly. These guards can be found at Brady Dental in Amarillo.
Who Needs an Occlusal Guard?
Your dentist at Brady Dental in Amarillo can determine if you need an occlusal guard by evaluating your symptoms. There are several symptoms that may indicate you need an occlusal guard. If you feel soreness in your jaw muscles or experience jaw joint pain you might need to be fitted. Do you often wake up feeling fatigued or with a toothache or headache? An occlusal guard could help. Sleep apnea and ground-down teeth are another indication that you might need an occlusal guard, or if you feel pain in your gums due to clenching or have loose teeth. The experts at Brady Dental in Amarillo can help determine if you are a candidate for an occlusal guard.
How Occlusal Guards Work
Occlusal guards allow patients to maintain the alignment of their upper and lower teeth by preventing the teeth from biting or grinding into each other. It allows your jaw muscles to relax, thereby relieving tension in your muscles and reducing soreness. The role of the night guard is to protect the jaw from joint issues that could crop up over time and to help relax the jaw during sleep. To prevent further gum recession and tooth damage and prevent headaches, toothaches, and earaches the occlusal guard should be worn nightly. If you have wear on your tooth’s surface your dentist may suggest an occlusal guard that will also promote healthy sleep patterns.
While occlusal guards do not cure you of bruxism or TMJD, they can help you reduce your symptoms and prevent further damage caused by grinding your teeth for many years. The guard will work perfectly and do a great job protecting your smile. Despite the high price of premium brands, they have very high quality and last long. Ask the dentist at Brady Dental of Amarillo for more information.
What Materials are Occlusal Guards Made of?
An occlusive splint is made of a substance called acrylic resin. Custom-built decorative guards are made from a few different materials, most commonly EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), a soft, flexible plastic. EVA is a highly flexible material that can be bent like rubber. Many scientists have confirmed that EVA is a safe and useful material for occlusal guard construction. Some studies show that elastomeric rubber (EVA) is very good for fabricating mouth guards and splints.
How to Wear an Occlusal Guard
Sleeping comfortably requires you to wear a night guard each night for at least 4-6 weeks so that your body will become used to wearing it each night. It is important to wear it as prescribed by your dentist for as long as possible to prevent severe pain. If wearing an occlusal or splint causes pain, it is possible that the device has not been fitted properly, so you will have to take an impression of your teeth or visit your dentist to have it fitted. Most dentists agree that it takes 2 to 3 weeks to develop a habit of using occlusal guards, so expect to wear them for at least that long before considering other treatment options. Ask the experts at Brady Dental of Amarillo for treatment options.
Bruxism or TMJD can cause you to feel tired, in pain, and uneasy. A bite guard or splint is one solution to help keep your teeth healthy. It is essential that you know which symptoms you are experiencing and talk with your dentist at Brady Dental in Amarillo about what you need to purchase. Our practice offers high-end custom-fitted occlusal guards made in a dental lab and brought right to your door. We strongly believe in our products. Contact us at Brady Dental Group in Amarillo today to schedule your consultation.