Have you noticed an increase in tooth pain or sensitivity? Both could be a sign that you are grinding and clenching your teeth.
Chronic teeth grinding and clenching, or bruxism, can lead to headaches, tension in your shoulders and neck, and pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Like many people, you may grind your teeth while you sleep without being aware that you are doing so.
How Occlusal Splints Work
At our Vienna, VA dental office, we recommend occlusal splints to our patients to provide relief from the painful symptoms that result from grinding your teeth during sleep. These devices are customized to fit your mouth perfectly and prevent the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact.
Occlusal splints are also often referred to as "night guards" because they make it impossible for you to grind your teeth while you sleep.
Why We Recommend Them
Bruxism causes tension and discomfort in the jaw joint, and an occlusal splint relieves that pressure, allowing the jaw to relax. But the big problem with bruxism is the effect it has on your teeth. If not treated, the constant excess pressure from grinding can result in worn, cracked, or broken teeth.
Many cases of bruxism are related to a misaligned dental bite that prevents your upper and lower jaw from meeting properly. Crooked or missing teeth can also cause teeth grinding.
If you wake up with pain or muscle aches in your jaw and shoulders, you may be grinding your teeth without realizing it. We recommend occlusal splints for our Vienna, VA patients because they minimize the effects of teeth grinding and reduce discomfort.
Please call our office if you would like to learn more about how our occlusal splints can help you find the relief you need.