Occlusal guards or nightguards in Chevy Chase, MD: Ease TMJ pain, prevent damage from teeth-grinding

At Health 360 Dental in Chevy Chase, MD, we have developed extensive experience and knowledge of “occlusal disease,” which is medical terminology to describe problems with how the teeth in the upper and lower jaws fit together when you bite down. This relationship between the teeth is essential; when your “bite” is not healthy, it affects the health of not only the teeth themselves but of the supporting oral and facial structures and tissues. Fortunately, Drs Erick Hosaka and Valerie Cassis restore a healthy balance and, in turn, improve patients’ quality of life by easing symptoms associated with “bad bite.” 

Occlusal guards, nightguards

Dentists like Drs Hosaka and Cassis are adept at designing oral appliance therapy to treat a range of conditions. These therapies include occlusal guards and nightguards. The latter type of appliance, the nightguard, is recommended for those patients with signs of bruxism. Bruxers grind their teeth frequently in their sleep. The force placed on the teeth from this chronic behavior is considerable; we may suspect bruxism if you have signs of wear and tear (like chipped teeth or fractures) or if crowns and other dental work tend to break well before their time. 

Nightguards are made from scans of your teeth. These precision images allow us to design appliances that are custom-fitted to your mouth. When you slide it over your upper teeth before you go to bed, the nightguard fits snugly yet comfortably. In this manner, your teeth are adequately protected from damage. But the appliance itself is sufficiently comfortable for you to get quickly and easily used to wearing it. After all, what good is a treatment that does not get used due to low compliance? 

During an appointment at our office, our dentists may determine that you have additional needs beyond protecting your teeth from damage. For instance, you may have signs of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD). This condition manifests as chronic migraines and facial, neck, back, and shoulder pain. You may also experience jaw stiffness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Any time stress is placed on the jaw joints, and it can lead to TMD symptoms. Such pressure may be caused by bruxism and a range of other conditions, from arthritis and other degenerative disorders to something as simple as habits like chewing gum. We recommend an occlusal guard that eases the stress placed on the jaw joints and interconnected oral muscles, tissues, and structures. Here again, the appliance is made from scans of your mouth. After the guard is created, we will precisely adjust for fit and proper bite and jaw movements. 

Our patients appreciate that professional occlusal guards and nightguards are:

  • Made to precisely fit the curves of your mouth. 
  • Provide optimal protection to the teeth. 
  • Easy to wear; they “stay put” and don’t slip around or irritate the insides of the mouth
  • Made from durable materials by dental professionals. So, you can trust that they will hold up for a long time. 

Experience this great investment in your smile and well-being for yourself. Contact us at (301) 686-5255 to schedule your visit to our office today.