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Oral Appliances
Greensboro, NC


Woman pressing at her aching jaw from Dr. Julie Phillips Prosthodontics in Greensboro, NCYour mouth has many important responsibilities. It allows you to bite and chew food thoroughly, which aids in proper digestion and good overall nutrition. Your teeth control airflow, allowing for proper speech. Your smile is also critical. It is the first thing that others notice about you and has the power to leave a strong, lasting impression. If you wake up every morning with a pain in your jaw, the functions of your mouth and your quality of life may be impacted. Simple tasks like eating and speaking can be excruciating. At Dr. Julie Phillips Prosthodontics, we can help to alleviate these symptoms of sleep apnea, improving your quality of life, with an oral appliance, such as a mouth guard or night guard.

Do You Suffer from Bruxism?


Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. While this grinding and clenching can occur at any time of the day, it is more frequent at night. This is because during the day you notice if your teeth are clenched or grinding, and you can take action to stop it. At night, however, your teeth can grind and clench without you knowing, allowing it to continue for an extended period. With bruxism, your muscles contract, forcing your teeth together with extreme force. Not only do your muscles grow tired, but the excessive force can cause significant pain that can interfere with your quality of life.

Symptoms of Bruxism


Pain in your jaw first thing in the morning after you wake up is a common symptom of bruxism. There are also other symptoms that may occur as well, including:
•  Jaw and facial swelling
•  Experiencing pain in your temporomandibular joints or TMJ
•  Pain in your face
•  Chronic headaches and earaches. These symptoms are not often associated with jaw pain. However, they are common symptoms due to the proximity of the jaw and temporomandibular joints and the radiation of pain from your mouth.
•  Uneven or excessive tooth wear. This can increase the risk of tooth decay and tooth damage.
•  Loose teeth. Continued pressure can affect the periodontal ligaments, impacting the stability of your teeth. You may even suffer tooth loss.

What Causes Bruxism?


There are several different issues that can lead to bruxism. Common causes include:
•  Stress. This is one of the most common causes. When you are stressed, all of your muscles tense. This includes your facial muscles. Stress can also affect you while you sleep. When the muscles in your jaw tense, your teeth clench and grind.
•  Caffeine
•  Certain types of medications
•  Drinking alcohol
•  Using tobacco products, including smoking cigarettes
•  Poor alignment of your teeth or your jaws

Oral Appliances for Bruxism


An oral appliance is a common treatment prescribed for mild to moderate bruxism. It is a device made to be worn in your mouth while you sleep. We create custom oral appliances, also called night guards, from digital impressions taken of your mouth. This ensures an accurate fit that provides optimal results.

There are two types of oral appliances that may be used for treating the symptoms of bruxism. The first is similar to a sports mouth guard. It covers the entire top arch of your teeth. It works to cushion the impact of the forces your jaw exerts when you grind and clench. The other type of oral appliance is made to cover only the front teeth. This type of oral appliance works to hold your jaw in proper alignment while also preventing your upper and lower teeth from making contact. While oral appliances cannot eliminate bruxism, they can significantly alleviate the symptoms, greatly improving your quality of life.

With an oral appliance, such as a night guard or mouth guard, we can help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism so that your mouth can function normally. Call Dr. Julie Phillips Prosthodontics at 336-274-5400 for more information and to schedule your consultation today.

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