Equilibrated Occlusal Guard (Night Guard)
Occlusal guards (also called night guards) help protect dental work, decrease TMJ/TMD symptoms, and help allow jaw alignment. Occlusal guards are typically worn at night and on the upper arch, however they can be worn during the day and worn on the lower arch.
Equilibrating your night guard
When the jaws close your teeth should come together evenly and at the same time, same as when you wear your occlusal guard. When your teeth don’t touch evenly at the same time, this puts stress on your teeth, supporting bone, jaw joints and muscles. Clenching or grinding can magnify this problem. When your occlusal guard is in your mouth the Doctor guides your jaw joints into their proper sockets when closing and has you bite on articulating paper. The Doctor makes minor adjustments to your occlusal guard until all your teeth hit evenly and at the same time.
Signs of needing an occlusal guard
- Wear, fracture, or chipping of teeth
- Sensitive crevices on teeth or gums
- Gum and bone recession
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Worsening of periodontal disease
- Damage to dental bridges and dental implants
- Tender muscles, headaches and noises when you open and close your jaw
If you have any questions or concerns about mouth guards, please contact your dentist.