I’m Dr. Joe Neely, and I practice with the Barton Oaks Dental Group. I’m going to talk about using a night guard for tooth grinding, or in many cases for tooth clinching. Since probably more people simply clinch with excessive forces, than grind. The night guard has three purposes. The first purpose is to simply put something in between your two sets of teeth, top and bottom, that’s softer than your tooth enamel. The plastic that a night guard is made out of, even though it feels hard, is much less dense than your tooth, and so if.
Somethings going to wear, the plastic will wear. The second thing the night guard does, is, because it has some thickness to it, it gives the muscle a different position to rest in, and to function in. Striated muscles, if you stretch them a little bit, if you extend them, and then contract them, its therapeutic for the muscle. It’s the same thing a runner would do when they’re stretching their legs, or ballerinas stretching out, or a gymnast. You’re basically are functioning with that muscle at a longer position for the muscle.
The third thing the night guard does, is, it gives your jaw support and yet freedom of function. The, the purpose of a custom made night guard, like any orthotic for our sh, sh, running shoes or whatever, is it can be shaped to fit the patient’s bite exactly. To where when you bite down, you have full support, even support, and when you go through the different motions and movements of the jaw, your, the, the plastic is shaped to where it puts that jaw through an ideal pattern of movement, rather than a hard pattern of.
Dental Care Teeth Grinding Night Guards
Movement. The reason that you wouldn’t want to go to the sporting goods store and get an athletic mouthpiece, is that as you bite into the athletic mouthpiece, your teeth, top and bottom, sink into that mold, and now your teeth are locked in position. And so, with the mouthpiece in place, if you need to, if you’re functioning, then your, the teeth slide across the plastic. If they’re locked into position, and you grind, then the only thing that, that gets torn up is the joint, and that’s not a good thing.