What Is a Night Guard?
Bruxism, or the habit of grinding your teeth, is a common problem that affects patients of all ages, often during sleep. While the most recognizable indicator of bruxism is the wearing of tooth enamel, teeth grinding and clenching may also cause inflammation, headaches, tooth pain, and discomfort in your neck and jaw. To protect your mouth against the effects of bruxism while you sleep, Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics offers custom night guard appliances. Custom night guards are created with high-quality materials to fit comfortably in your mouth and help improve the quality of your sleep by minimizing teeth grinding and jaw clenching. To learn more about custom night guards from our Wyomissing and Reading, PA dentists, please schedule a consultation at one of our practice locations!
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Do I Need a Night Guard?
A number of symptoms may indicate that you are grinding your teeth and/or clenching your jaw at night. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are often caused by stress but may also be the result of misaligned teeth, allergies, or temporomandibular joint disorder (called TMD). Bruxism can also increase the risk or be an outcome of obstructive sleep apnea. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep:
- Wake in the morning with a sore, tight, or tired jaw
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Frequent headaches or facial swelling
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Limited jaw movement
- Popping or clicking upon opening your mouth
- Flattened (worn) biting edges on your teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth or restorations
- Gum recession or tooth sensitivity
When our team at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics is evaluating the symptoms of bruxism, we also try to determine the cause of the condition to create a treatment plan that produces the best possible outcomes.
How Is a Night Guard Made?
A custom night guard appliance may be helpful to protect your teeth and jaw and reduce your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). After our dentists diagnose bruxism, we will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth. We will then send these impressions to a dental laboratory where the night guard will be created with durable, high-quality materials. Once your night guard is complete and sent back to our office, we will schedule an appointment for a fitting. Our team may make minor adjustments to ensure the night guard fits properly and comfortably. You will also be given instructions on how to care for and maintain your bruxism appliance.
What Can I Expect With a Night Guard?
It is important to wear your night guard every night, as recommended, to maximize your treatment results and help protect your teeth against the effects of grinding. Night guards are designed to minimize the discomfort and dental issues created by bruxism. If you feel that yours does not, please contact our Wyomissing and Reading, PA dental team so we can consider additional concerns or try other options. In order to help keep your teeth and appliance in pristine condition, you should properly clean and care for both your mouth and night guard before and after each use. We ask that you bring your night guard to all future dental appointments so that our dentists can make adjustments or repairs as needed.
Does Insurance Cover Night Guards?
If you have been diagnosed with bruxism, a portion of your night guard appliance could be covered by your dental insurance plan. Our billing personnel can contact your insurance carrier to determine your coverage and estimated personal costs. During your consultation, our staff will discuss the convenient payment methods accepted at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics. To help make your dental care even more affordable, we can help you explore and apply for medical financing.
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Protect Your Smile Against Bruxism
Teeth grinding is a common occurrence, but it can lead to a number of dental health concerns. Night guards are a great way to help protect your teeth against the negative effects of symptoms of bruxism. Custom night guards from Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics can also benefit your overall oral health and help prevent future dental concerns. To meet with a dental team who offers night guards in Wyomissing and Reading, PA, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation.