Nighttime Grinding Relief in Houston, TX

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About oral appliances

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common issue that affects many people at night time. Not only does it cause severe headaches and inflammation in the jaw joint and flattening your teeth, but it can also cause severe pain in the jaw, teeth, and head and neck muscles. Dr. Neela Patel of Houston Heights Dentistry is highly trained in TMJ disorders and "bite issues" like bruxism.  She will first check for sleeping disorders and order a sleep exam with a sleep facility if necessary.  She will then do a complete bite evaluation to better understand the triggers that make someone grind, and the patterns of grinding.  Then, she will consult with the patient before ordering a   custom-fit splint or appliance that is worn over the top or bottom teeth. This splint will  protect against the negative effects of teeth grinding, and also reduce the activity of the muscles used to grind.  Thus, this can help reduce headaches, and excessive forces that can break teeth or loosen them. Made from high-quality materials, custom splints are adjusted or balanced to  fit comfortably for each individual patient, improving the quality of their sleep while defending their teeth against grinding and jaw joint damage. A series of 3-8 adjustment visits are generally needed to align the bite on the splint, and retrain the muscles involved in grinding.  Splints not only allow patients to have a more comfortable sleep, but they can also prevent future joint and tooth damage, and let the system heal.  Once the muscles are relaxed, and the nightime grinding is gone, then Dr Patel can rebuild the worn down, compromised teeth to restore your bite to your optimum joint position where the muscles and joints are relaxed.

What to Expect

Dr. Patel will start by doing a complete bite evaluation exam in which digital x-rays, pictures, bite mapping, muscle tenderness, and impressions are taken in order to study all the triggers for your clenching or grinding.  The custom-fit splint will be crafted from high quality materials. You will have your new splint fitted and bite adjusted for optimal TMJ health and to stop te muscle activity. The next splint adjustment is normally scheduled in one week for minor adjustments and to make sure you have optimal comfort.

Treatment Aftercare

While fitting the splint, Dr. Patel will give more specific care instructions on how to clean and store your appliance. Dr. Patel will ask you to bring your appliance to  future cleaning appointments to check for general wear and determine when your splint needs to  be adjusted. Once the muscles are more relaxed, Dr Patel will evaluate your teeth in the optimal joint position, and she will make recommendations on how to best restore your bite to this position. This may involve rebuilding your short teeth with bondings or crowns or orthodontic treatment.   Even though your bite is restored, and your grinding is improved, people will go through episodes of stress in their lives that will trigger grinding again. This is why Dr Patel recommends that a new  appliance be made to help protect your teeth at night once your teeth are restored.


Nighttime Grinding Relief - Insurance Coverage

Some of the cost may be covered by dental insurance if the patient has visible wear on their teeth from bruxism. Our office can confirm your benefits through your insurance to determine your out-of-pocket cost. For patients without insurance or if your insurance does not cover your appliance, we accept many forms of payment and have financing plans available. 

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splint Against Grinding

A custom appliance can protect you from grinding your teeth at night, and prevent you from waking up with a headache and mouth pain. Get a better night’s sleep and protect your teeth from future problems with a custom splint. To learn more, contact Houston Heights Dentistry to schedule your consultation. 

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.