Teeth grinding or clenching, a habit known as bruxism is a very common disorder. Depending on the study you read, the prevalence of bruxism in the general community ranges from 8% to 31%. Often patients coming in complaining of sore jaw in the morning, which is gradually eased during the day, tight jaw muscles, even headaches and earaches. Often a dental examination will also reveal wearing and flattering of tooth surfaces, chipped or broken teeth and worn tooth enamel. If left untreated, severe bruxers can wear teeth down to the nerve, leading to strong pain and extensive tooth loss.
There are many factors which can influence or cause bruxism: stress, personality types, certain life events, medications, family history and sleep apnoea. Dentist can relief pain from bruxing and prevent further tooth loss by fabricating a night guard. It would require an accurate mould of the patient’s mouth, then a lab technician will pour up the mould in plaster, and construct a splint/night guard which fits the patient’s teeth exactly. Once the dentist insert the night guard, patients need to get use to it by wearing it every night for a minimum period of 4-6 weeks. After this amount of time, generally it should feel like a part of your routine and will seem a lot easier to wear.