If you find that you grind your teeth regularly, the Novato Dentist will assess your problem and suggest various solutions for eliminating teeth grinding and reducing its uncomfortable symptoms. We will work with you to find the most effective, lease invasive method that addresses your needs and provide a long-term solution to chronic dental grinding (bruxism).
Your Bite Analysis
The first place to start the process is with a complete “bite analysis” that will evaluate the balance between the jaw joint, the jaw muscles, and the way the teeth come together when you bite. If your bite is out of balance, it can lead to teeth grinding and clenching of your jaw.
This in turn leads to premature wear of the teeth, receding gums, and even deterioration of the jawbone. It may be tempting to turn to a generic mouthguard sold over-the counter. However, night guards work well in the short-term, but are not a long-term solution. Experience has shown us that the most effective approach is an evaluation of your bite.
Over-the-Counter Night Guards
Many patients looking for a night guard want to first try an over-the-counter night guard. The primary advantage is cost savings. The problem with these night guards is that often don’t fit correctly, which means they do not work properly. We don’t discourage our patients from trying OTC options, but we want you to be aware that they may not work.
If your grinding and clenching symptoms are disrupting your life, you may want to consider a high-quality custom night guard created at our Novato Dentist instead of seeking out short-term remedies. Here are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing mouth guards from your local pharmacy or supermarket.
- Since mouth guards purchased over the counter are not custom-fit, they often slip and shift during the night. Unfortunately this may cause more problems than it solves.
- Mouth guards purchased from your local pharmacy are just not very durable. If you persistently grind your teeth you will likely need to replace the mouth guard frequently.
- Mouth guards only address the symptoms of bruxism. They don’t do anything to address the underlying problem.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of teeth grinding (bruxism) or jaw clenching, please contact our office. We will schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and the best treatment options for you.