Do you grind your teeth while you sleep? Chances are, if you do, you won’t even know it until someone such as a family member or your dentist enlightens you. A bite plate can go a long way towards stopping the problems associated with bruxism. Bruxism—the technical term for grinding your teeth—can be caused by one or more factors. This includes stress, the use of certain medications, and temporomandibular joint disorder.
A frequent cause of bruxism is an uneven bite. Left unchecked, bruxism causes your teeth to wear down much more quickly than they otherwise would. In addition, it can contribute to headaches, loose teeth, and even—in extreme cases—broken or cracked teeth.
Using a Bite Plate to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Here at Monroe Family Dentistry, we recommend the use of an orthodontic appliance called a bite plate. A bite plate is very similar in appearance to a retainer or a mouth guard that many athletes wear.
The difference is that (unlike a retainer) a bite plate covers your teeth and (unlike a mouth guard) provides a semi-rigid structure that guides the movement of the teeth. A bite plate is a removable retainer-like device with a special “ramp” built into it. This ramp helps guide the bite and keeps the front teeth properly aligned.
Because it is removable, many of our patients wear their bite plates at home in the evenings. This allows them to continue their normal daily lives uninterrupted by the bite plate, but still provides the benefit of using it.
How Does a Bite Plate Help?
A bite plate will often be the only thing you need in order to straighten out your bite. This, in turn, will reduce bruxism and help keep your teeth in good shape. By guiding your bite, the bite plate trains your mouth and teeth to close properly.
If you have questions about a bite plate, please come see us at Monroe Family Dentistry today!