Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench or grind your teeth. You may not even be aware that you are doing it until you develop other symptoms such as a chipped tooth, pain in your jaw or ear, or notice your teeth are becoming worn. Bruxism causes premature wear on the teeth (attrition) and stresses the gums, often causing receding gums, abfraction and tooth sensitivity.
While your local pharmacy or sporting goods store supplies many cheap options for night guards, you may ask “How is a custom-made mouthguard from my dentist better than an over-the-counter mouthguard?” While over-the-counter mouthguards may sound appealing, there is a difference between them and a professionally-made mouthguard from your dentist. Store bought mouth guards are typically made from a lower grade, thinner material which makes them less durable. You will need to replace an over-the-counter product far more often than a custom made mouthguard made by a dental professional. Store bought mouthguards may offer a "boil and bite" option for a better fit but they are not custom fit to your dentition. To properly protect your teeth from damage due to bruxism, talk to your dentist in Fort Lauderdale at Excellence in Dentistry about a night guard.