Nightguards, Mouthguards and Sleep Apnea Appliances in Glenview IL
Teeth Grinding and TMJ
Teeth grinding and clenching, also know as bruxism, occurs when people unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as at night. Over time, continuous grinding and clenching of teeth can lead to issues with the jaw joint, or TMJ. Many times people do not realize they are grinding or clenching their teeth until irreversible damage has already been done.
Who suffers from Teeth Grinding and TMJ?
Often, teeth grinding and subsequent TMJ issues can be brought on by stress. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, grinding or clenching teeth at night can occur in as many as one in three adults. Grinding and clenching teeth at night is more common in young adults and can become less frequent with aging. Rates are also much higher for people who have a family history of the disorder. Men and women are affected equally with the disorder. Increased grinding or clenching teeth at night can be brought on by caffeine or nicotine consumption before sleep.
What Are the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding and TMJ?
The symptoms of teeth grinding and TMJ issues are often connected to problems with the function of your jaw joint and jaw muscles. Most people experience one or a combination of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Chronic headaches
- Pain or pressure in the ears
- Clicking or popping sound when opening and closing your jaw
- Tips of teeth look flat
- General soreness of teeth especially in the morning
How Do You Evaluate for Teeth Grinding and TMJ?
At Gallery Park Dental, Drs. Rogers and Gripentrog will evaluate your teeth for physical signs of grinding or clenching. Patients that have been grinding or clenching their teeth continuously will often exhibit significant wear on the cusps of teeth and can even have cracked teeth or fillings. They will also evaluate your TMJ for any signs of clicking or popping. Finally, they will evaluate all of your individual jaw muscles that are used when chewing. There are a few ways that TMD symptoms can be treated. Before Dr. Skinkys develops a treatment plan, we need to first identify any issues that contribute to your symptoms. He will evaluate your TMJ symptoms to collect the necessary information to make an accurate diagnosis.
Teeth Grinding and TMJ Treatment
If a patient is diagnosed as grinding or clenching their teeth at night, the most popular treatment is the nightguard. Nightguards are made of a stiff acrylic material that is custom-fit to the teeth and prevents the top and bottom teeth from grinding into each other. While nightguards do not prevent the action of grinding, they protect the teeth and dental restorations from wear and fracture. If it was determined that any TMJ issues were produced by grinding and clenching teeth at night, the nightguard will also help to reduce the extra stress added to the jaw joint and relieve some of the TMJ symptoms.
To avoid injuries to your mouth and teeth while playing sports, visit Gallery Park Dental to have an athletic mouthguard made just for you.
Why Should I Wear a Mouthguard?
Trauma to the mouth and teeth is one of the most common sports-related injuries. Mouthguards are advised to be worn any time there is a chance the head or face could make contact with other players or objects. Some of the most common sports that this can occur are basketball, baseball, softball, football, wrestling, hockey, rugby, and lacrosse.
What are the Different Types of Mouthguards?
There are three main types of mouthguards.
- Stock Mouthguards: These are the least expensive mouthguards. They are commonly purchased over-the-counter and consistent of a ready-made stock plastic material that forces the athlete to close on to keep in place. These type of mouthguards provide little protection and have little to no ability to adjust.
- Mouth-formed Mouthguards: These mouthguards are commonly referred to as “boil-and-bite” mouthguards. They are also a relatively inexpensive item that can be purchased over-the-counter. The mouthguard is placed in warm water until softened, at which point they are placed into the mouth and formed around the teeth. While they are better than stock mouthguards, they are often bulky and have a loose fit.
- Custom-made mouthguards: At Gallery Park Dental, we make mouthguards that are custom-made to fit each individual patient. This type of mouthguard provides the most protection because it fits snuggly around the teeth and gums. They are also less bulky and much more comfortable to wear than over-the-counter mouthguards. Also, they can be custom made to include your school or athletic team colors!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common and very serious sleep disorder that causes people to start and stop breathing while they sleep. The interruptions in breathing are usually caused by soft tissue in the throat collapsing and blocking the airway. People may then snore loudly or begin to choke as they struggle to get air. This disruption in breathing and sleep often cause people to wake up feeling tired even after having a full night of sleep.
Sleep Apnea Appliances
A sleep apnea appliance is a custom-fit oral appliance that can improve snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. The appliance is worn during sleep and holds your lower jaw slightly forward to open your airway. For patient’s that qualify, the oral sleep apnea appliance has many advantages over other sleep apnea treatments such as the CPAP machine:
- Comfortable and easy to wear
- Portable and convenient for travel
- Easy to clean and maintain
How Can Gallery Park Dental Help?
At Gallery Park Dental, we work closely with your physician to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Patient’s that have been diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea will be evaluated by one of our dentists to determine if they are a candidate for an oral appliance. After an examination of the teeth, jaw, tongue, airway and any necessary x-rays, molds of your teeth will be taken to create the custom-fit appliance. Once fabricated, the appliance will be tried in and adjusted for maximum comfort and effectiveness. Your physician may then order a new sleep study to test the overall effectiveness of the appliance.
If you snore or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, call Gallery Park Dental in Glenview for your complimentary consultation today!