Do You Clench Your Teeth During The Daytime?

Last week we discussed the use of night guards for nighttime grinding or clenching. Many patients deny clenching at night but still have a lot of muscle pain around the jaw joint and ear area. These people probably actually clench their teeth during the day.

A study of daytime clenchers was designed so that patients were reminded to check where their teeth were every 20 minutes.

Even this almost constant reminder did not lessen the patient’s clenching and there was no difference between men and women

However, the level of perceived stress was higher with patients that clenched during the day and these people clenched or just touched their teeth together during the day 4 times more often than the control subjects.

Go online to the Academy of Orofacial Pain to find out more.

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Clenching, Grinding and Nightguards

Are you a night grinder? Do your jaw muscles often feel tight or sore in the morning and do you often have morning headaches?

Clients often get pain relief and protect their teeth at the same time by using a custom night guard.

My favorite guard is made by our  lab on models taken of my client’s teeth, fits over the top teeth only, and has a flat surface for the bottom teeth to touch and slide on.

However, if I make the nightguard too thick, it is annoying and may make matters worse.

According to an international study in 2008, the ideal thickness of the hard guard is 3mm or about a tenth of an inch. This thickness results in a significant decrease in  muscle activity (clenching and grinding)  and should be worn consistently to keep muscle activity down.