The amount of force that can be generated when the teeth come together can be surprising. Under normal circumstances, this tremendous amount of force is necessary for grinding and chewing food. When these muscles are activated for reasons beyond biting and chewing, pain, discomfort, and damage can occur. For some patients, uncontrollable clenching and grinding of the teeth during the day or night can be bothersome. It may be comforting to know that your dentist in Irving can help to minimize and relieve this type of stress. When the teeth are subjected to excessive biting stress, these ligaments can become inflamed and eventually damaged.
For patients who suffer from bruxism, also known as clenching or grinding, your dentist may recommend an appliance designed to protect the teeth and jaw joint. Sometimes referred to as a night guard or bite guard, these appliances can effectively prevent the teeth from grinding against one another. The guards can also prevent the jaw muscles from activating, allowing the muscles to relax.