A biteguard (also known as a nightguard) is a protective device that covers either the upper or the lower teeth with a layer of specially made, rubber-like material. The biteguard prevents the upper and lower teeth coming into contact in order to protect them from excessive wear caused by a clenching or grinding habit.
Many people grind their teeth whilst sleeping and most are not aware that they are doing it. Often the nocturnal grinding or clenching habit is worse during times of increased stress or anxiety. In addition, many people also tend to clench their teeth whilst they are awake, usually when they are concentrating on a task e.g. housework, gardening, typing etc. Such habits tend to 'over-work' the jaw joints and the muscles involved in chewing and also cause a significant increase in tooth wear.
Common signs and symptoms of a clenching or grinding habit include:
- Flattened, worn teeth
- Repeated fractures of teeth, fillings or crowns
- Crowns that repeatedly work loose
- Persistently sensitive teeth
- Teeth that are tender to bite on
- Loose teeth
- Stiffness of the jaw or aching facial muscles when you wake up
- Tenderness over the jaw joints (in front of your ears)
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Clicking, grating or locking of your jaw joint
If you suffer from any of these symptoms please inform your dentist and they will assess whether a soft biteguard is appropriate for you.
At Omnia Dental Spa, our dentists will take accurate impressions of your teeth in order to ensure that your custom-made, soft biteguard fits accurately and securely to provide the best possible protection for your smile.