I was told I need a bite guard. Is this really necessary? Shouldn’t I just wait until there is a problem?
If you are being told you need a bite guard, it is because you have some signs and/or symptoms of grinding or clenching your teeth.
Signs are things the doctor sees that are a problem;
Symptoms are the things you’re feeling that might be a problem.
Signs that you are grinding or clenching can include one or more of the following:
Teeth wearing through enamel, mobile teeth, recession and bone loss, teeth that are migrating or crowding and popping or crunching sounds from the joint.
Symptoms include one or more of the following:
Tension, tenderness or pain in the muscles of the jaw, feeling a pop or crunching in the joints, pain in teeth to bite or chew, pain in the jaw joint, headaches and pain or fullness in the ear.
A bite guard creates an ideal bite that shuts the muscle activity down, creates a healthy environment for the joints, protects the teeth and stabilizes bone. It should be made with a hard, stable material, and all of the lower teeth should contact surface evenly.
Bite guards are necessary if you do not want the situation to get worse. Waiting can create a more expensive and difficult problem to treat.