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Grinding your teeth at night can pose a significant number of threats to your long-term oral health. The unnatural tension can cause inflammation and soreness in the muscles and ligaments of your temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw. In time, this can lead to TMJ disorder.

At the same time, the act of grinding can cause chips and fractures in your tooth enamel. These damaged areas can trap residual food particles and plaque that are promoting tooth decay.

To keep these complications from arising, your dentist, Dr. Valerie Foster, can fit you for a custom night guard. This soft, plastic mouthpiece allows some slip between your teeth. This helps mitigate inflammation and soreness caused by the tension of grinding and clenching the jaw. It also offers modest padding to prevent chips and fractures in the tooth enamel.

The soft, plastic material shields and protects your teeth while reducing the friction between biting surfaces to help relax muscle tension in the jaw. Even if you’ve recently developed TMJ disorder issues, the use of a custom night guard can help mitigate existing issues as part of a treatment strategy.

If you grind your teeth at night on a regular basis, you should call Valerie A. Foster, DMD, PC at 503.649.7011 to see if a night guard in Aloha, Oregon, is right for you.