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Do you awaken with a sore jaw or experience unexplained earaches or headaches? You may unknowingly grind your teeth, a condition known as bruxism. Many people grind their teeth or clench their jaw as a reaction to stress. Sometimes during the day. But most often at night. Since most grinding happens at night most patients are unaware they grind until signs or symptoms begin to arise. Bruxism is extremely damaging to natural teeth and restorations. It can cause facial pain, ringing in the ears, and compromise proper jaw alignment. Grinding can also affect your appearance over time. The teeth are part of the substructure that holds your facial characteristics in position. As your teeth wear down and become shorter, the dimensions of your face cheeks and lips collapse slightly, lending itself to a more aged appearance. Not to mention worn teeth themselves age a person. Bruxism is involuntary and mainly occurs at night when you lay down and the jaw position shifts. The brain is alerted to the new jaw position and initiates grinding as a way to find a more comfortable resting position. Unfortunately, grinding will never carve out a more comfortable position but rather contribute to making the problem worse. If you have these signs or symptoms, we may suggest a professional MOUTH GUARD alleviate your symptoms and prevent further damage. A custom guard is made out of clear acrylic and fits discreetly over your upper teeth and is comfortable to wear at night. They are fabricated from precise impressions and bite measurements taken in the dental office. The dental laboratory will use those measurements to fabricate a mouth guard designed to hold your teeth a certain distance apart and in a certain position, thereby eliminating the trigger to grind. The jaw joints are very sensitive to change. Having your appliance made specifically to your mouth is the best way to eliminate grinding and protect your teeth. Mouth guards can’t always stop patients from grinding. But they protect the teeth and restorations from the unconscious forces exerting when you sleep. The wear that occurs on your night guard would have occurred on your natural teeth. Wearing a guard will preserve healthy tooth structure.