Do you regularly get out of bed in the morning with a headache? Do you have jaw pain, tooth sensitivity you notice while biting, routine earaches, or neck or shoulder pain that may radiate down into your back? Are you wondering what on earth could be causing the problem? It’s not that you’re “sleeping wrong,” and you don’t need to replace your pillow or your mattress. It’s very likely that you’re one of millions of Americans of all ages who grind their teeth at night, or even during daylight hours. Officially known as bruxism, teeth grinding and clenching can cause a variety of ailments and make restful sleep difficult or impossible. If you’re suffering from the effects of grinding, don’t just grit your teeth and bear it. In two easy appointments, Bunker Hill Dentistry can get you fitted for a night guard that’s durable and custom-tailored to your mouth for the most comfortable wearing experience. In Stressful Times, Night Guards are Crucial During the pandemic, we’ve been seeing patients whose teeth are worn far more severely than normal for people in their age group. And we’re not alone; according to a poll of members of the American Dental Association (ADA), dentists are seeing huge increases in bruxism, cracked teeth, and jaw pain. It’s no coincidence that stress is a key contributing factor to incidences of bruxism. Anxiety, frustration, anger, and tension can cause not only daytime teeth grinding, but sleep bruxism, as well. And if you take antidepressants or use tobacco, alcohol, or recreational drugs to deal with your stress, these can all increase your risk of bruxism. Why You Need to Protect Yourself from Teeth Grinding Teeth are only designed to touch while eating. When they’re pressed together for hours at a time with unnaturally strong force, the gums begin to pull away from the tooth (known as abfraction). At the same time, the enamel around the neck of the tooth starts to flake off, which exposes the nerves underneath and causes the sensitivity you may feel as a result. Night Guards are one treatment option for dealing with teeth grinding. See how else we treat bruxism at Bunker Hill Dentistry. Visible dental abfraction caused by long-term stress on the teeth. Credit: Talkteeth. With less enamel protecting your teeth, you’re more susceptible to tooth decay, cavities, and even tooth loss. Your teeth may even chip or crack from the sheer amount of force they’re under when grinding. While fillings, root canals, and dental implants can resolve these issues created by grinding your teeth, the best cure is always to maintain the natural teeth that you already have. They will work better, and they cost much less money! So a night guard or mouthguard is the best way to protect your mouth as you work to uncover and treat the underlying causes of your teeth grinding. Why Bunker Hill Dentistry? Dr. Le and his wife and office manager Ann Le Specialists – Your procedure will be carried out by Dr. Le, a dentist experienced in both cosmetic and general procedures. Serene setting – Our office is designed to provide a calm, relaxing environment to help put your mind at ease during treatment. Take a tour. Client satisfaction – We have one mission – total client satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience” is our guarantee to every client. More about Bunker Hill Dentistry. Reception room at Bunker Hill Dentistry State of the art – We utilize the most advanced technology such as the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently located – Located in Memorial, just a short drive from Houston’s city center. Find us on the map. How Getting a Night Guard Works (…No More Putty!) If you’ve gone through the process of getting a night guard in the past, you may still have bad memories of foul-tasting putty crammed in your mouth to craft a mold of your teeth. No more! Here’s how the night guard process works at Bunker Hill Dentistry: At your consultation, we diagnose the problem and make sure your complaints are being caused by teeth grinding. If so, we conduct a simple scan of your mouth with our iTero digital scanner. In five minutes we have a colorized 3D model of your teeth that we can easily rotate and manipulate on a computer screen to show you exactly how far off your bite is because of teeth grinding. We then send this model to the lab, which fabricates the night guard and mails it back to us in about 10 days. When it arrives at our office, you return to try it on and we make any tweaks to the fit that may be needed. That’s it! Before you leave, we will give you instructions on caring for your night guard. After that, you can take it home and start using it every night, or every time you find yourself grinding. Don’t Settle for Less than Custom-Made If you’ve ever bought off-the-rack clothes, you know that no one is an “average” size. Every person’s body is unique, and the last thing you want to do is spend good money on an over-the-counter mouthguard that either a) is not customized for you, or b) you have to make yourself (in the case of “customizable” brands). Not only are you entrusting serious medical care to an anonymous company by doing so, you risk actually making the problem worse; if the night guard fit isn’t perfect, your teeth will continue sliding on each other trying to find the correct bite, thus accelerating teeth wear. A custom night guard, on the other hand, lets your jaw find its resting place and settle there, saving both your teeth and your jaw muscles. Although any mouth device may feel odd at first, you’ll get used to a custom-fitted night guard quickly, probably within a few nights, and soon you won’t think twice about popping it in and drifting off to sleep. And you won’t believe the difference in your mouth, head, and upper body as your bruxism-related aches and pains subside. Comparison: A Night Guard from Bunker Hill Dentistry vs an Over-the-Counter Night Guard Bunker Hill Dentistry Night Guard Over-the-Counter Night Guard Fast and painless digital scan Complicated customization process We make any adjustments needed Can’t be returned once used Custom fit holds its pattern “Customizable” models lose shape quickly Ask the doctor any questions you have throughout the process Search the web for help on your own More likely to wear it due to comfortable fit Likely to be ill-fitting and left on the nightstand Lasts 3-5 years on average Lasts 3-6 months May be covered by insurance Not covered by insurance Schedule An Appointment Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.