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While Dr. Joanna Jefferson and our team love teeth (it’s in our name!), we also appreciate the relationship between the teeth and other oral structures. So, Dr. Jefferson does way more than treating the teeth and gums from her practice in Irvine, CA. She also supports the health of their interconnected muscles, tissues, and structures. Nightguards present one of the ways that we at Tooth Love protect the teeth from damage caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) and promote the health of the jaw joints and other oral structures. 


dental nightguard for healthy sleep eliminate TMJ and teeth grindingDr. Jefferson may spot patients with bruxism during a routine hygiene appointment and exam. Those who chronically grind their teeth and clench their jaws may have chips and other signs of excessive wear and tear to their teeth and dental restorations such as crowns. Dentists may suggest a custom nightguard to protect patients’ investment in their smiles and to maintain excellent oral health. These oral appliances are called “nightguards” because many bruxers grind their teeth at night when they are sleeping. These patients often don’t realize they are grinding their teeth until after Dr. Jefferson detects the telltale signs, such as damage to the tooth enamel. With that being said, you can also brux or grind your teeth during the day. Those with “awake bruxism” may grind their teeth when concentrating or when they’re upset, stressed, or frustrated. 

Bruxers may have additional complaints that have nothing to do with their teeth; for instance, they can frequently suffer from migraines, neck and back pain, earaches, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). These symptoms are usually associated with TMJ disorders. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull on both sides of the face. When the joint is stressed, these and other symptoms can arise. It is thought that individuals with bruxism place excessive pressure on the jaws and stress the TMJs. 


There are various oral appliances that may be designed to address bruxism and associated conditions such as TMJ disorders. Oral splints, for instance, both protect the teeth and dental work and prevent the back teeth from touching when biting down. That alleviates the forces that are placed on the jaws, joints, and other tissues. In turn, patients who wear these lightweight appliances may notice dramatic improvements in the frequency and severity of symptoms like chronic headaches. Nightguards and other forms of “oral appliance therapy” are easy to wear, easy to care for, highly portable, and generally require little to no adjustment. Patients also appreciate that these appliances are made from durable materials, so they last and are a conservative (non-invasive) way to correct a potentially dangerous condition that impairs your ability to live life to the fullest! 

Do not delay to feel better today. Contact Tooth Love at (949) 444-5656 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Jefferson. 

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