This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ADVERTISING FEATURE HEALTH MATTERS


Dr Grant McAree


ask dr. grant


DR GRANT IS A RENOWNED COSMETIC DENTIST, TREATING PATIENTS BOTH NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. HE IS THE ONLY COSMETIC DENTIST IN THE REGION GRANTED PRACTISING PRIVILEGES AT NUFFIELD HOSPITAL, EXETER


Night mouth guards – what’s the story?


What are they? Night guards – also called night or occlusal splints – are removable dental appliances moulded to fit the upper or lower teeth of adults or children. They are mainly used to protect against tooth damage from grinding or clenching at night and/or to stabilise occlusion (the way in which the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed). The most effective ones are custom- made for your teeth by your dentist.


Who might need one? Anyone who grinds their teeth at night (‘nocturnal bruxism’), either due to stress, habit, a sleep-related disorder or to smooth down an interference such as a high filling or badly-fitting crown. Some people are unaware they have the habit until they visit their dentist, who can spots signs of grinding- related wear. Also, patients with occlusion- related problems.


What are the symptoms of night- grinding? With more extreme cases, excessive tooth wear and chipping along the base of the tooth. Other symptoms may include tiredness following a seemingly good night’s sleep, headaches, stiffness or aches in the face, neck or jaw, sensitive teeth and grazed skin on the inside of the mouth or soreness along the edge of the tongue.


How can a night guard help? A night guard can not only protect the teeth


and soft tissues but also help to relieve symptoms by helping the jaws to work in a way that reduces the stress on the jaw joints.


What types are there? Night guards can be soft or hard, stabilising or repositioning. For children, I only recommend soft ones, as the fit of hard ones changes with normal growth. For adults, I would normally go straight to hard ones, as soft ones tend to wear through more quickly and can become deformed. However, for minor cases or short-term use, adults can wear soft ones, which many patients find more comfortable. Stabilising guards are generally flat against the opposing teeth, helping the jaw muscles to relax as the lower jaw can move freely without teeth interference against the upper jaw, while repositioning ones are used to reposition the jaw to improve occlusion.


What happens? Impressions are taken and then a guard is custom made. If irregularities in the


“You maY not realiSe it when it happenS, but a kick in the teeth maY be the beSt thing in the world for You” – walt diSneY


arrangement of the teeth are also aggravating the problem, adjustments can be made, either by reshaping specific teeth or adding a little filling material before taking the impressions. Hard guards may need to be adjusted periodically as the muscles begin to relax over time.


When should I wear a night guard? Every night for as long as your dentist recommends or night-grinding persists.


How long do they last? It’s very difficult to say, as it entirely depends on the severity of the case and length of treatment, but generally at least six months, though more likely a year. It also depends on how well you look after them: rinse after each use and store in the tray case provided to avoid possible damage.


Any final advice? Talk to your dentist if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and are concerned you may be grinding your teeth.


Costs? For custom-made children’s or adults’ ones, £100 for soft, approx £150 for hard. As ever, go for trust and experience, not simply cost. EL


Dr Grant McAree BDS BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Dentist The Whyte House, 89 Fore Street Topsham EX3 0HQ, tel: 01392 877494 www.thewhytehouse.com


www.mediaclash.co.uk Exeter Living 53


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84