Clenching, Grinding, Stress, and Night Guards:
Stress has been an especially big topic during this last year. Here in our dental office, we’ve seen increased jaw clenching and griding. This has led to an increase in jaw pain, tooth wear, tooth pain, and even fractured teeth! Prolonged clenching and grinding can have permanent effects on your teeth and jaw relationship.
What is clenching and grinding?
We are talking about your temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles that connect your lower jaw to your skull. The TMJ is active anytime you move your lower jaw to chew or talk- it’s very easy to overwork these muscles and joint.
Symptoms of clenching can include pain/tightness near the ear, temple, cheeks, and back of skull. Clenching occurs when you squeeze your jaw muscles tightly but don’t actually grind your teeth together.
Symptoms of grinding (also known as bruxism) also include muscle and joint pain, but include loss of tooth structure as you grind away the teeth. This can fracture teeth, create sensitivity, and change your profile!
Treatment for clenching and grinding is effective and comfortable! We have two treatment options:
Full Coverage Nightguard is probably what you’re used to hearing about. It covers the entire arch of teeth. It does not prevent clenching and grinding, but it protects your teeth from breaking and moving due to the grinding.
NTI device covers only your front teeth and prevents your teeth from touching when you sleep. It is custom made to train your jaw muscles to relax. So, it stops you from clenching and grinding in your sleep and lessens the instance of grinding during the day.
If you have any questions about your jaw, TMJ, or muscles, please give us a call at 704-542-6003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. At Kleinheinz Dentistry we want to help you be pain and stress-free, so we’re offering $100 off NTI/nightguards as our winter special!