Grinding and clenching of your teeth can cause many problems, as we discussed in last week’s blog post. There are two solutions we offer at our Evanston dentist office: a nightguard or an NTI. This week we will discuss why we would prescribe one device over the other and how they help in bruxism cases.
A nightguard is a device that provides full coverage over your teeth to protect them from the trauma of grinding and clenching. Nightguards are made of acrylics and hard plastics. They can be made to cover your upper arch or your lower arch, your dentist will explain which would be best for you. Nightguards are a form of protection for your teeth. They do not prevent the grinding and clenching, but rather provide a layer of protection so that you don’t wear your enamel down. Nightguards are prescribed to prevent tooth movement. Examples would be: as a form of retention after having orthodontics done, or to protect teeth that are mobile from advanced periodontal disease. The full coverage nature of the nightguard holds your teeth in the correct position in your mouth while you sleep and does not allow them to move.
A NTI is a small device that only covers your anterior teeth. It is made from acrylics and hard plastics, much like a nightguard. The large difference between the NTI and a nightguard is that the NTI device works to train your muscles to relax. The NTI keeps your teeth from touching when you are asleep making it impossible for you to clench your teeth. As you train your muscles to relax, you can change your bruxism habits. If you are suffering from frequent migraines, a NTI may be the solution for you. We recommend a NTI to patients who are not concerned about tooth movement, as the NTI does not prevent this.
Both devices are successful in the treatment of bruxism, so our doctors will discuss your dental history with you to make sure that they prescribe the best method to treat your bruxism. Once you have your bruxism device, it can be cleaned with cool water and a toothbrush. You can also bring it to your hygiene appointment at our Evanston dental office and we can clean it in our ultrasonic cleaner. Both devices are sturdy and may last for several years. Be sure to bring your device with you when you are having treatment completed so that your doctor can adjust it and make it fit with your new bite. Keeping your bruxism device current with the anatomy of your teeth ensures that you get the best protection of your mouth.