You may need a nightguard.
The dentist may recommend a night guard for either bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth) or the related pain with your temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). Pain with the temporomandibular joint and the surrounding muscles is usually referred to as temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). Bruxism and TMD can combine to cause multiple problems, such as:
- cracked teeth
- loose teeth
- ear pain
- clicking, popping, and grinding sound in the joint
- pain in the joint
- difficulty with opening your mouth
A nightguard is a custom-fit appliance that fits over your upper teeth at night. It has a smooth semi flat surface that allows your opposing teeth to move smoothly. This in turn reduces the stress and pressure on your teeth and joints. Over time, consistently wearing a nightguard can reduce the tendency to clench and grind your teeth.