At Westgate Family Dental we treat all our new patients with a very thorough Comprehensive Examination including, oral cancer screening, charting of existing restorations and needed treatment, and periodontal therapy. More importantly, we look at your bone levels, tissue health and of course your occlusal function. We look for visual wear patterns on the teeth and also ask our patients several questions when trying to determine whether or not they have TMD/TMJ issues. Some of those questions are as follows:
- Do you have muscle soreness in the neck, shoulders and/or upper back?
- Do you have frequent headaches?
- Do you sleep well at night?
- Do you wake up with soreness in your jaw or neck?
The good news is, we have options for TMJ Treatment. By asking these questions and gathering this important data, we can help determine whether or not our patients would best served with a night guard or bite splint. Believe it or not, 7 out of 10 patients have issues with TMD or TMJ, and most of the time it goes un-diagnosed or untreated because of lack of a proactive approach. We take a very hands-on approach because TMD can be a very destructive condition.
The destruction can be so great it can overpower a patient’s overall dentition and oral health. Clenching and grinding is the leading cause of broken teeth, destroyed dental work, bone deformation and abfractions. Untreated, clenching and grinding can not only destroy your oral health and function but also destroy your wallet. If TMD goes too long without being treated the financial investment can increase significantly. Why? Because clenching and grinding wears down your enamel into the soft part of our teeth called the dentin. As a result our teeth over time will need to be covered with crowns to protect them from decay and bacteria. These kind of restorations can add up very quickly! Ouch!
Why and what is a night guard/bite splint?
The night guard or bite splint is like putting your jaw in removable cast. Once we put the night guard in place it starts to deprogram the brain as far as function and how your teeth come together. Once we put you in a balanced bite splint, any brain receptors that might send the bite into an incorrect function and caused inflammation diminish quickly. By tricking the brain, the clenching and grinding process ceases, resulting in an asymptomatic sleep pattern and reduced inflammation and soreness.
At Westgate Family Dental we do all that we can to make sure our patients have every treatment option available to them. Because Bruxism is so destructive to the entire oral cavity we always take a proactive approach, and this is why we ask the questions we ask and provide the treatment we provide. We are able to keep your costs to a minimum because we fabricate most of our custom bite splints in house. By doing this we can keep everything in one place, one stop and cost effective!