Bite/Occlusal Guards

What Is An Occlusal Guard?

Are you suffering from migraines? Are your teeth worn down? If so, teeth clenching and bruxism (teeth grinding) might be at least partly to blame. An Occlusal Guard appliance might be able to help. The appliance is a removable device that fits over your teeth and is used to help relax the jaw and prevent further damage and wear on the surfaces of the teeth that occurs from clenching and grinding during sleep. Preventing this clenching action means less wear and tear to your teeth, less pain in the jaw joint and potentially even fewer migraines.

Teeth clenching and bruxism (also known as teeth grinding) can do serious damage to your teeth over time. That’s because when you clench your teeth, you apply a huge amount of force to hold your upper and lower teeth together. This pressure is exerted when you grind, slowly wearing down the involved teeth. This can eventually lead to pain around your TMJ, broken teeth, a chipped tooth filling or even tooth loss.

What Exactly Is Bruxism?

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be triggered by stress and anxiety, there are several reasons that people grind their teeth in their sleep. The most common reasons include:

  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Missing teeth or abnormal bite
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Alcohol & tobacco use
How Can I Find Out If Im Grinding?

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.


At Forest Crossing Family Dental our doctors and their dental team are committed to delivering the best dental care available.

Office Hours

Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM



4999 Carolina Forest Blvd Suite 14

Myrtle Beach, SC 29579

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