Spring 2018

This spring, your cosmetic dentist in Chicago IL has gathered some of the most interesting topics in dentistry for your enjoyment. If there's something you would like to see more of or if you are interested in more information regarding any of the following topics, please feel free to call us at (773) 643-6006.

Do You Need a Dental Night Guard?

A dental night guard is precisely what it sounds like—a device that is molded to the shape of your teeth and worn during sleep. The idea is to protect your teeth from themselves. The muscles responsible for opening and closing your mouth are extremely strong and are often to blame for nocturnal clenching or grinding (also known as bruxism). The amount of force your teeth can exert on one another is more than enough to cause physical damage to them, to say nothing of the strain put on your jaw joint (TMJ) and associated muscles. The vast majority of people who suffer from bruxism experience it primarily at night, making a night guard the obvious solution for preserving teeth. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it may be time to ask your dentist about a dental night guard.

Headaches in the Morning
After the grinding and straining of muscles all night, it is very common for sufferers of bruxism to have morning headaches. Often times these headaches are located on the sides of the head around the temples as well as the top of the head. This type of headache feels somewhat differently than the usual headache—it is often described as more of a muscular pain.

Pain in Your Jaw Joint (TMJ)
Whether it is prominent in the morning or throughout the day, pain in you jaw joint is another sign of bruxism that may necessitate a night guard. This symptom makes sense—the jaw is responsible for opening and closing the mouth. If it is strained all night, it can certainly have pain in the morning. In addition, if you have difficulty opening your mouth wide or discomfort when chewing or speaking, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth.

Worn Down, Chipped, or Broken Teeth
This is a symptom that may require an exam by your dentist in Chicago, but if you are aware of teeth that are chipped (especially back teeth) or teeth that have what look like small holes in the biting surface, you are almost certainly grinding your teeth. A broken tooth is the extreme version of what can happen after a long period of unchecked grinding.

There are different types of dental night guards, including over-the- counter varieties. These are somewhat bulkier and more difficult to wear, but they are inexpensive and easy to obtain. On the other hand, your dentist in Chicago can make a custom night guard specifically for your teeth. These are often stronger, slimmer, and easier to wear. Your dentist can help you decide what type of night guard is best for preserving the health of your teeth.

Please call our office at 773-643-6006 to schedule an appointment with your top Dentist Chicago.


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