If you suffer from tooth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, you may be experiencing symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, cracked or loose teeth and even damage to your cheeks on the inside of your mouth. There are a number of reasons why people may grind or clench their teeth, the most common being stress.
Other reasons that people may clench or grind are anger or frustration, discomfort, genetics, medications, misalignment of teeth and even diet. If you don’t stop the action of grinding, you could be facing some serious complications. Some of these include irreparable damage to your teeth, headaches, indigestion, loose teeth, TMJ and even eating disorders. If this is happening to you, there are certain treatments that are available. Most people will start with a mouth guard, which will definitely protect your teeth and mouth from further damage, but it is not a cure for bruxism. There are other options that are available to you as well, one of which is known as an NTI night guard.
Q: What is an NTI Night Guard?
Though many people are familiar with mouth guards that are often used when a person is suffering from bruxism, most are not familiar with NTI night guards. So what are these devices? A NTI night guard, or NTI TSS (Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Tension Suppression System), is a small device that is designed by a dentist that fits over the top two front teeth in your mouth as you sleep. Known as an anterior bite stop, the NTI guard works by preventing any contact between the canine teeth and the molars. By preventing this contact, the device triggers a nerve process which relaxes the muscles that cause clenching and grinding. In addition to helping bruxism, the device can also help with TMJ, tension headaches and migraines.
Q: What is the Difference Between an NTI Device and a Mouth Guard?
Though an NTI device and a mouth guard will do similar things, they are different devices. First of all, an NTI device will be able to not only prevent your nighttime grinding or clenching, it can actually help to cure your bruxism. A mouth guard, on the other hand, will only protect your teeth and mouth from the effects of grinding. Most people will still grind and clench, even when they have a mouth guard in. Some people wonder what is better, an NTI device or a mouth guard? Because an NTI device can actually cure your bruxism, it is certainly be a better choice for many, however not everyone will take to an NTI device and in this case, a mouth guard should be used until another treatment method can be considered.
Q: Are NTI Devices Harmful to the Teeth?
People often wonder if NTI devices are harmful to the teeth. After all, they attach to the front teeth in order to work correctly. As long as the device fits properly and it feels normal, there is no reason why the device would harm or move your teeth. However, you should know that many people choose not to get their devices fitted correctly, as it can take several visits to get the right fit, and it may not be comfortable or even work all that well. If you are currently using one of these devices and you feel as if it isn’t working as it should, a trip to see your dentist may be in order.
Q: Can NTI Devices Be Remolded?
Yes, NTI night devices can certainly be remolded as you will need to get them fitted in order to ensure they will work as they are supposed to. This, however, is something that only a trained dentist will be able to take on as precision and knowledge are needed. These devices will be specially measured and monitored over time as your teeth may shift or move over time. One small shift could cause the device to no longer work as it should. Most dentists will not install the devices unless the patient agrees to regular monitoring and adjustments of the device.
Q: Where Can I Get an NTI Night Guard?
The only way that you can get an NTI device is to see your dentist. If your personal dentist is not able to install the device or they do not have a lot of experience with the device, it is very important that you ask for a recommendation. Your dentist may know someone with more experience or you can contact the company that makes these devices, Chairside Splint or online at Headacheprevention.com.
Though an NTI device may not be the right choice for every bruxing patient, for those who are able to get their devices sized correctly, as well as monitored for shifting, they can experience the elimination of, or great reduction of, their teeth grinding and clenching. If you are interested in learning more, contact one of the companies listed above or speak with your dentist in order to discuss your options.