Which Occlusal Guard is Right for You?

KatieM

Katie Moynihan BS RDH

Which Occlusal Guard is Right for You ?

Do you grind your teeth when you sleep? Ever noticed pain in your jaw? Bruxism is the term used when a person is grinding or clenching their teeth. Often times, bruxism occurs unconsciously during the day or most often at night. Whether you know you do it or not, there are certain dental signs we look for as oral health professionals in order to properly diagnose the right mouthguard for you.

Occlusal wear on the teeth can lead to gum recession, fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. An occlusal guard is custom made to be worn over the biting surfaces of either the upper or lower arch of teeth, and is easily inserted and removed by the patient. It is made out of an acrylic strong enough to minimize the abrasive action of excessive tooth forces. They should be worn on a long-term basis to help to stabilize the occlusion as well as prevent damage to teeth and to the temporomandibular joint.

OG 1

Another bruxism appliance is called an NTI-tts device. Unlike the occlusal guard, the NTI device only covers part of your mouth, clipping over either the top or bottom front teeth. This small, custom fitted plastic device forms a barrier between your top and bottom teeth, preventing you from biting down completely. You might consider an NTI device if a conventional occlusal guard has not worked for you, you suffer from migraines and headaches, or experience pain associated with your TMJ. The goal of the NTI is to prevent the grinding and touching of the rear molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle.

OG 2

Although there is no single cure for bruxism, these devices are available to help reduce symptoms associated with teeth grinding and clenching. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, we would be happy to talk to you about it and help you determine which bruxism device is right for you.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/basics/causes/con-20029395

http://www.medicinenet.com/teeth_grinding_bruxism/article.htm

http://www.o-guard.com/nti-night-guard/

STOP IT!! These habits can harm your teeth!

photo

Ann Clark RDH

Enamel is the toughest substance of the body.  But teeth can still be vulnerable when it comes to neglect, abuse or misuse.

1) Chewing on ice, pencils- Harmless? think again.  This habit can chip or crack your tooth.  It can also irritate the inside of the tooth causing toothaches or sensitivity.

ice chewing

2)Sports without mouthguards-Many sports require a mouthguard, a molded piece of plastic protecting your teeth.  Without one you an chip or even knock one out.  Get a custom fit one from your friendly dentist.

3)Bedtime bottles-Giving baby juice, milk or formula at bed can lead to decay.  The remnants bathe the teeth in sugars over night.

getty_rf_photo_of_baby_with_bottle

4)Tongue piercing-Biting on a stud can crack a tooth.  Metal rubbing against gums can cause damage that may lead to tooth loss.  The mouth  is a haven for bacteria increasing the risk of infection.  Over time the metal can also wear down the enamel changing its shape.

piercing

5)Drinking coffee-The dark color and acidity can cause yellowing over time.  Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to treat with a little whitening.

coffee-black

6)Smoking/tobacco products-These stain the teeth and lead the way to periodontal disease.  Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue.

cigarette

7)Drinking wine-The acids in wines eat at the enamel creating rough spots.  A stained tooth is like sandpaper attracting more bacteria.  Red wine contains chromogen and tannins which help the color to stick…rinse with water, alcohol dries out your mouth.

8)Constant snacking- This produces less saliva than when eating a meal, leaving food bits in the teeth longer.  Snacks should be low in sugar/starch…try carrots.

9)Binge eating-Binging and purging(Bulemia) can do damage from acids found in vomit that erode enamel, leaving them brittle and weak.  Acids also cause bad breath.

10)Whitening too often- Chronic whitening or not following directions acn lead to gum irritation and increased sensitivity.

11) Bottled water- Most have little to no Fluoride as do home filtration units.  Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens tooth structure.

12)Grinding/Clenching-Bruxism wears the tooth down over a period of time.  If worn to the  inner dentin your teeth become sensitive.  Stress, boredom, and sleeping habits make it hard to control. Worn down teeth make you look older and cause pressure to fracture the teeth.

13)Medications-Oral contraceptives can change your hormones and lead to periodontal disease.  Cough drops are high in sugar content leading to decay.  Antihistamines asue dry mouth as do many meds.  We need our saliva to protect our teeth!

14)Drug Abuse(Meth)- Crystal Meth, an illegal and addictive drug can destroy your teeth.  Users crave sugary drinks and foods, clench and have dry mouth.  They notoriously lack in taking care of themselves.

15)Gummy candy-Sticky foods keep sugars and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours.  Eat them with a meal as more saliva is produced helping to rinse your mouth.

gummy bear

16)Sodas/Sports drinks/Fruit juice-Sodas have 11teas. of sugar per serving.  They also contain phosphorus and citric acids which eat at enamel.  Diet skips the sugar but adds more acid (artificial sweetners).  Don’t sip these beverages keeping the teeth bathed, chug them and rinse with water

17)Potato chips-Bacteria in plaque will break down starchy foods into acid.  This acid can attack teeth for 20+ minutes if stuck between the teeth…floss!

18)Using your teeth as a tool-It’s convenient to open a bottle or package this way but it canlad to a chip or crack and nail biting is full of germs and bacterias, don’t chew on them.

tooth tool

19) Brushing too much, too hard or with a hard bristle brush-This can erode enamel. Toothpaste can be abrasive, technique is important so as not to take away enamel.  Skipping check ups and not flossing will, of course, cause problems as well.

Being informed is your best defense!

Ann Clark RDH

 
Photo cited:
 
Cigarette  www.webmd.com
Baby bottle www.webmd.com
Gummy Bear www.markmatters.com
Tooth Tool www.webmd.com
Ice Chewing. www.personal.psu.edu