Management of Dental Compression Syndrome

Guard Therapy

Does the sharpening procedure eliminate the tendency to clench ones teeth?

 

Only if that is the sole reason one is clenching. In other words, many patients are uncomfortable because their teeth do not fit together properly, and unconsciously squeeze their teeth together in order to make the problem go away, but it only gets worse. If their teeth are more comfortable when they close, the tendency to clench goes away, or greatly diminishes.

 

However, this does not mean that the psychological component goes away. The sharpening procedure takes care of the engineering component, but we also have to be concerned with the psychological or stress component. For this, the patient needs to wear some sort of guard to protect his or her teeth and TMJ during periods of unconscious clenching.

 

The design I use ninety-five of the time is a small, thin, hard acrylic guard that fits on the six front teeth. This guard takes advantage of the engineering fact that one can only apply twenty-five percent of the force to the front teeth that one applies to the posterior teeth. This guard has many advantages and can be worn during the daytime.