Why should I wear a “plastic tray” at night?

Attrition is a physical wear caused by tooth-to-tooth contact. It happens especially in people with an abrasive diet and a habit of bruxism.

During your dental check-up appointment, your dental practitioner will be able to tell you whether you have the signs of grinding. Most of the time, people will not notice since they may be grinding overnight when sleeping. This condition can be exaggerated by stress or certain medications.

Grinding of teeth causes a loss of tooth structure, resulting in teeth sensitivity and dislocation/tear of the temporomandibular joint. When you grind your teeth at night, you may feel the soreness of your jaw joint when you wake up. Clinically, if you have existing periodontal diseases, the habit of grinding can also exaggerate the condition and increase the further loss of tissues and bones.

On the short term, wearing a nightguard, which is a plastic custom-fitted oral appliance, can provide a cushioning effect, so that the upper and lower teeth cannot wear away at each other. We highly recommend to get a nightguard from a dental practice. Despite it is more expensive, a tailored design and minor adjustment from a dental practitioner can maximize your comfort when wearing it at night and its effectiveness.

On the long term, we have to discuss with you regarding the actual cause(s) of the grinding habit. Sometimes, a referral to a medical/dental specialist may be required to find a definitive solution. Alternatively, botox injection for bruxism may be required to relieve the soreness and pain of your jaw. However, they should only be performed by a health professional who is certified or has received related trainings.

At Brunswick Dental Clinic, our practitioners are experienced in designing nightguards and we work with one of the best dental labs in Melbourne. If you have noticed any signs of grinding / bruxism, please consult our practitioners for more treatment options.

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