In a high stress environment like the D.C. area, many people find themselves clenching or grinding their teeth. This can occur day or night, however it usually occurs at night. Quite often the patient is unaware that they are doing it. The ramifications of this can include wearing of the chewing surface, fractured fillings or crowns, broken teeth and attrition (indentations along the gum line). Other symptoms include muscle ache, headaches and discomfort in the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.
Precision appliances can help alleviate these problems. They fit over the chewing surface and are worn at night or during periods stress.
Mouth guards should be worn during contact sports to help prevent damage that can occur during competition.