Night Guard’s to the rescue | Walnut Creek, CA

Photo from the The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) website

Bruxism is the clenching together of both the upper and lower teeth. Clenching causes pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other surrounding structures of the jaw.  This clenching can cause jaw joint disorders, headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, ear pain, tense muscles, and excessive wear on the teeth. This is referred to as “TMJ” (temporomandibular joint). Bruxism can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw) if not properly treated. It is estimated that 30-40 million Americans are affected by Bruxism.

The majority of people who clench also tend to grind their teeth. Grinding is when you slide your teeth over each other in a back and forth, sideways movement. Often the grinding is a subconscious behavior that is not realized by the bruxer. A partner or significant other is often the first to hear the noise of the bruxer’s teeth grinding at night. If left untreated, this grinding can wear down your teeth. The cause of Bruxism is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role.

What Is the Treatment?

Stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat Bruxism and reduce the symptoms, but a dental night guard is the most commonly used treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, retainer-like, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom teeth. It is intended to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding by having a protective cushion between the upper and lower teeth. A night guard is a simple and affordable decision for protecting your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of Bruxism. When properly made by your dentist, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.

For more information on TMJ and Bruxism, contact Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick at (925) 934-5526 or visit our website.

Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick also proudly serves Alamo, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda and surrounding areas.

5 Helpful Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay – Concord, CA

Your teeth are very susceptible to decay if you do not take proper care of them and practice good oral hygiene regularly. The following are some tips Drs. Barmby and Frick recommend to help you prevent tooth decay:

1. Talk to Drs. Barmby and Frick to make sure your mouth, teeth, and gums are healthy before beginning a whitening program.

2. Preferably, Drs. Barmby and Frick  recommend you to choose a supervised whitening option for your safety and maximum results.

3. Stick with your maintenance schedule to keep your smile bright, remember, no whitening is permanent and regular professional cleaning is essential to remove stains and the tartar that can cause gum disease.

4. Keep sweet foods, desserts, and drinks to a minimum and brush thoroughly after eating. The consumption of those products over extended time periods heightens the risk of decay.

5. Acidic food and drinks can be just as harmful to your teeth as sugar. The acid erodes tooth enamel and can make your teeth sensitive, more vulnerable to cavities, and lose its luster.

Remember, you can maintain your teeth for a long time if you properly take care of them. Drs. Barmby and Frick recommend regular cleanings to keep your teeth glistening and healthy. To schedule an appointment call Drs. Barmby and Frick ‘s office at (925) 934-5526.