Can grinding my teeth really make them break if I don’t wear a night guard?

By | General Dentistry, TMJ

My dental cleaning appointment was yesterday. When the dentist examined my teeth he told me that I am putting too much stress on them, probably from grinding my teeth at might. He also said that I need a night guard and that if I keep putting it off my teeth will break. Is this true? – Randy

Randy – A night guard absorbs the pressure on your teeth that comes from grinding and clenching them. It protects your teeth from fracture. Fractured teeth are weakened teeth, so if the grinding and clenching continue, you can wear away your teeth and cause them to crack.

Headaches, toothaches, and neck pain are often improved with a custom-fitted night guard. A custom fit from your dentist provides the protection needed based on your bite (the way your teeth fit together). A store-bough night guard won’t give you the same results.

The jaw joints are also protected with a night guard, which helps the muscles relax while you sleep. If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms, they will improve. Your dentist’s comments are based on an examination of your teeth and the damage that is already being done to them. Heed the advice and protect your teeth and your oral health.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

What kind of doctor should I see for TMJ?

By | Prosthodontist, TMJ


I think I have TMJ. What kind of doctor should I see for it? – Blake

Blake – Dentists often treat TMJ symptoms, but there is no recognized specialty for TMJ disorders.

Find a dentist with extensive TMJ training. Visit his or her website to find out if the dentist has received training specific to the disorder. Prosthodontists are specialists who are highly trained to address jaw joint disorders.

This post is sponsored by board-certified prosthodontist and Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacaa.