It is common that patients report symptoms of sore jaw muscles, sensitive teeth, headaches, a clicking or popping jaw and even fractured fillings or teeth. Other patients report neck cramps or knots in the shoulders and neck when they are under stress. This stress is manifested as tension in the back, neck, and jaw for many of us. There are many reasons why people carry this strain and stress is just one of the possible causes of clenching and grinding. Patients sometimes know they clench their teeth or even grind. It is more common however that patients do not know that they clench or grind since it often occurs during their sleep and it may not be audible for another to hear.
Clenching and grinding is actually one of the more under diagnosed behaviors and can have great destructive power. The jaw muscles are some of the strongest muscles in the body and just like weight lifters who train daily, these muscles can be "exercised" and developed to the point where they can exert a dangerous force on the teeth and gums when they are on "autopilot" so to speak. Traditionally night guards served to protect the teeth from fracture or from the grinding down of enamel. This buffer between the teeth does not however successfully alleviate the intensity of which the jaw grinds or clenches. This intense compressive force in itself can damage teeth, damage the supporting bone around the teeth, damage the ligaments in the TMJ (jaw joint) and cause muscle fatigue, cramps and spasms.
The goal of the NTI is to greatly reduce the intensity of the forces of grinding and clenching. This in turn reduces much of the damage, strain and therefore symptoms that patients feel. Best of all the NTI is simple to make in one visit and it's noninvasive treatment. Learn more about this wonderful gift to dentistry by calling and scheduling a free consult today.
"I had been experiencing an ache in my jaw and neck that was slowly getting worse. To alleviate the problem I had all of my wisdom teeth removed, but a few weeks after the surgery the discomfort started to reappear. Shortly after that I was in for a check up with Dr. Matto and we discussed the symptoms I was experiencing (jaw pain, neck discomfort, and occasional popping noises) despite the removal of all four wisdom teeth. I was fitted for an NTI to alleviate the pain on the suspicion that I was grinding my teeth while sleeping. It took a few days before I noticed any effect, but after two weeks my neck and jaw pain were completely gone. Since then I wear it every night, and I haven't had any reoccurance of the pain or discomfort."
-Daniel Herbstreith, Honolulu
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