Occlusal Guards, commonly referred to as night guards, are typically used to prevent the chronic grinding disorder called Bruxism. A patient suffering from Bruxism is one who not necessarily knowingly grinds his or her teeth, and habitually clenches his or her jaw. This oral Para functional activity occurs in most people at some point in life. For most people, the condition is mild and does not create a serious health problem. Bruxism can occur while awake or in a sleep state, but it is Bruxism during sleep that causes the majority of health complications. Left untreated, Bruxism can cause major damage to a patient’s tooth structure.
Occlusal guards are typically made of a hard acrylic material. An impression of your upper and lower teeth is made and goes along with a bite registration. This allows the lab to produce the guard, which is worn when a patient is sleeping to prevent unconscious grinding. The durable acrylic material used prevents teeth from touching each other, which preserves the remaining tooth structure.