If you suffer from bruxism, a common form of TMD that involves the unconscious grinding or clenching of your teeth, you may experience painful side effects like constant headaches, a sore jaw when you wake up, or tooth pain. Your dentist might also notice wear and tear on your teeth from the enamel grinding together. In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in loosening, fracturing, or loss of teeth. When it comes to grinding teeth, it often happens while you sleep, so it is very hard to stop. One way to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding is to wear a night guard.
A night guard is a plastic, custom made dental device that is worn over your upper and lower teeth to realign your jaw and prevent the jaw from clicking. It provides a cushioning effect so that your upper and lower teeth do not wear away at each other; they wear away the night guard instead. A night guard protects your teeth from chipping and erosion. It is important to note that a night guard is not a cure for a grinding habit, and as long as the grinding continues, some symptoms such as jaw pain may not change.