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Night guards cracking


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Old 04-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
elfshadowreaper
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Night guards cracking

I've been using a night guard now for about three years. It's whatever hard type the dentist makes. I do all the required things like soaking it in hot water before putting it in at night. It's perfectly comfortable and I have no problem wearing it or keeping it in at night. The problem is that I've already cracked three from grinding. I took the first one back to the dentist and they had two new ones made for $100 instead of the $400 I originally paid. One was the just the old one they repaired. They made a second one brand new and made it thicker on the bottom. That one seems to work great and feels very comfortable at night but the side of it is cracked. So I went back to my original one which was thinner. Yesterday I noticed my last molar had cracked a hole right in the center where one of the teeth fits. Should I be going through these things this fast? Is there anything I can do to prevent it? Anything I can do to minimize my grinding? I take Adderall XR and I have a suspicion it makes me grind more. I don't mind having new guards made from time to time but I'm afraid my dentist or the company that makes the guards will get tired of me grinding through them.

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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Re: Night guards cracking

Elshadowreaper

Out of curiosity what do you do for a living at the moment? Majority of the time bruxism is caused by stress, this can be anything from work or other reasons or causes. The bodies reaction to unresolved stress comes out as bruxism or teeth grinding.

There are also indications that lack of sleep can add to it, overall what is your lifestyle like? What is your caffeine/coffee consumption like and do you get the chance to release any stress through exercise or a hobby etc?

 
Old 04-05-2013, 06:22 AM   #3
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Re: Night guards cracking

Thanks for replying! I'm a newspaper photographer. I'd say it's a somewhat stressful job but not what I'd call overly stressful. Our city isn't huge. I get pretty good sleep at night, I'd say about eight hours. I drink 90% water because I also suffer from kidney stones and proper water intake makes a world of difference. I never drink coffee. Occasionally I'll drink sweet tea if we go out for dinner, but not by the gallons or anything.

I do a little bonsai but I only have a few so there's only so much I can do with them. I also just got into beekeeping. I do have social anxiety so I have to take Wellbutrin to help with that. It isn't a serious case but it is an issue. I guess if I had to pinpoint where the most stress in my life comes from it would be having to deal with my social anxiety.

I'm married with our first baby on the way, but that really hasn't been stressful at all. We're excited more than anything.

 
Old 04-05-2013, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: Night guards cracking

elf- wow. your dentist should be paying for those mouth guards if they are cracking that soon, OR make you a different one with different material. i am going in to get my first custom guard today and it will be the hard acrylic like you have. i am nervous about it! i always used the over the counter ones and never had a problem till recently and now have major TMJ pain. but i'm nervous about clenching so bad at night i will crack it and then crack a filling or tooth. i take xanax at night, 1mg and that seems to relax me. right now i am wearing no guard (for the past week) and i think the anxiety of knowing that has made me clench, if i know i have a guard in i am less likely to worry about breaking any teeth. i too am on wellbutrin, twice a day so 200 mg total. i haven't really noticed a difference. i've been on it for 3 weeks. I think if we got nightly massages by an expert we would sleep MAGNIFICENTLY! wouldn't that be great?
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: Night guards cracking

elfshadowreaper

unfortunately the brain is very funny and things which you dont consider big it will worry and try to process subconsciously which can continually cause you stress, it might be low level but if you keep the stress level there then over time it adds up.

Overall your diet and lifestyle is good, jealous about the bonsai bit as I have a skill of killing all mine off!

Have you tried tapping or EFT to help overcome your social anxiety? You might find that by resolving that it will unearth something else which is the real cause of your stress and bruxism. I use/have used tapping and find its a good way of looking and getting rid of my own peccadillo's.

I wish you all the best with the baby and hope you are able to get things resolved.

 
Old 04-05-2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: Night guards cracking

Elfshadowreaper,

Does your dentist know what drugs you are on? Have you talked about them with your Dentist to see if they could be contributing in someway?

I clench and I also suffer from depression - I was on welbutrin 300 mg and had to stop because I found it was disrupting my sleep and making my clenching worse. Do you feel welbutrin is affecting your sleep?

There may be other drugs worth trying - muslce relaxants or clonazapam - which help your muscles relax and also make you drowsy so it helps your sleep. I've also heard that gabapentin (may not be spelled quite right can also be used) You should discuss this with your dentist.

I wouldn't worry about your dentist or the company that makes them getting tired of you - because everytime you have to replace them - they make money off you! But this doesn't sound normal. So I would definitely talk to your dentist about this problem or get a second opinion if you feel you are not getting satisfactory answers.

As for stress - stress can impact your life in many ways - even positive things like having a baby on the way (congratulations !) can be stressful. Do you receive counseling either from a psychiatrist or pyschologist to help dealing with the stress? Something else consider is cognitive behavioural therapy - usually done by pyschologist. There is an excellent book called Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky which at least you could pick up, read, and try some of the exercises on your own.

Good luck.

Last edited by mod85; 04-09-2013 at 08:40 PM.

 
Old 04-06-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: Night guards cracking

Elf- I was also going to tell you that a friend of mine who wears a harder guard has had hers for 6 years and she has bit through about 40% but it is not been bittne all the way through due to the hard acrylic on the outside. I think that is why some dentists prescribe those type of guards/splints.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:35 AM   #8
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Re: Night guards cracking

Canuck: I'm pretty sure my dentist knows about my meds but we've never talked about them possibly contributing to my grinding. Yeah, I take 300 mg of welbutrin too.

The only time I had trouble sleeping was when I first started welbutrin. I would wake up at 3-4 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. My routine has me waking up around 6 a.m. but I do still have a little problem waking up around 5 a.m. and going in and out of sleep. But that isn't such a big deal to me. Sometimes I sleep perfectly for a few months and then I'll have a few weeks where I wake up early.

I do see a psychiatrist every three months and I am going to talk to her about possibly changing to something else. I don't think welbutrin is working all that well. I'm not sure if I've ever talked to her about my problem with grinding my teeth.

Mandolyn: I'm not sure what material mine is made out of, I'm assuming it's acrylic.

The first one they gave me was pretty thin between the bottom of the tooth and where the lower teeth hit the night guard. But I think my dentist told them to make it thicker because the second one they gave me was a lot thicker on the bottom. I haven't had a problem with that one cracking except at the top where I think it cracked because I bent it too much when putting it in. But the original is still the same thickness, they just repaired it. That's the one I chewed through again.

But thanks for everybody's help. I'll bring the broke guard back to my dentist at my next appointment and see if they'll fix it.

Last edited by Administrator; 04-09-2013 at 08:04 PM.

 
Old 04-09-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Re: Night guards cracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by elfshadowreaper View Post
I've been using a night guard now for about three years. It's whatever hard type the dentist makes. I do all the required things like soaking it in hot water before putting it in at night. It's perfectly comfortable and I have no problem wearing it or keeping it in at night. The problem is that I've already cracked three from grinding. I took the first one back to the dentist and they had two new ones made for $100 instead of the $400 I originally paid. One was the just the old one they repaired. They made a second one brand new and made it thicker on the bottom. That one seems to work great and feels very comfortable at night but the side of it is cracked. So I went back to my original one which was thinner. Yesterday I noticed my last molar had cracked a hole right in the center where one of the teeth fits. Should I be going through these things this fast? Is there anything I can do to prevent it? Anything I can do to minimize my grinding? I take Adderall XR and I have a suspicion it makes me grind more. I don't mind having new guards made from time to time but I'm afraid my dentist or the company that makes the guards will get tired of me grinding through them.
Hi. I've had tmj for 10 years now and had the same problem at first. I broke several splints fitted by my regular dentist and he then refused to make more. I was lucky enough to be sent to a specialized pain clinic in my city and through them finally got a splint that didn't crack as soon as I used it.

The splints were identical in material, the difference was that the specialists took hours fitting them perfectly, using wax, carbon paper etc. My dentist had just spent a few minutes checking they went in OK & left it at that, which was just not enough to stop me clenching through it the first night. Part of the problem was that he never made sure all my teeth properly met the splint (with my teeth together and no movement from the splint itself). At one point he tried to use the adhesive from bridges etc on one side which I later learned was really bad, as your teeth are always supposed to be able to move over the splint.

5+ years later I could do with a new one but it's still just about in 1 piece.

I'm not sure how to suggest this to your dentist though! My good splint was made by a restorative surgeon.

 
Old 04-09-2013, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: Night guards cracking

Thanks for the replies.
Cherry: That kinda sounds like the one I have. My dentist's assistant used the carbon paper and kept filing away at the night guard until it fit my bite ok. At least I guess it did. I always had doubts because I never know how to close my jaw(like moving it forward or back or whatever) and I don't know how my jaw sits when I'm sleeping. Have a clicking jaw makes my bite profile weird, I think. But the dental assistant didn't take but a few minutes to get the night guard adjusted.

Another thing too is that I have fairly frequent dreams about my jaw being locked up and teeth falling out and stuff. I've heard it's linked to social issues. I'm definitely going to bring it up to my psychiatrist next time because I do think it's signs of a bigger problem.

(I made a post earlier but I think the forum ate it because I never saw it.)

 
Old 04-09-2013, 01:41 PM   #11
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Re: Night guards cracking

With your teeth/jaw on your mind so much it's not surprising you dream about it! My bite is similar, I feel like my teeth come together differently every time I bite haha. That was why they found fitting my splint so difficult. My dentist refers to me as "the girl with the strange bite"!

The restorative surgeon didn't think it was an issue but I do wonder if it plays a part in my tmj.

Stress & anxiety are definitely a problem, it's like a cycle of worry & pain you need to try & break. A pain diary is a good place to start to see what you're doing when the pain is worst.

Try & stay away from stimulants in the afternoon/evening & see if that helps. Trigger point massage can help if the muscle is sore when you go to bed.

 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #12
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Re: Night guards cracking

Guess what I learned today. Stress has nothing to do with clenching/grinding at night. The reason why you clench is because your teeth don't fit together properly so you move them around and clench down when find a position that fels right. I don't know if this is true, but this is what my prosthodontist told me today. I asked her about taking clonazapam at night to reduce the stress and guess what else she had to say...one of the side effects of clonazapam is clenching. While it will reduce your anxiety and help you sleep, it won't reduce the clenching. Wow...learning alot these days. Muscle relaxers are the best way to reduce clenching she says.

As for the night guards cracking, my old dentist used to make them in house. They were much thinner than the splint I have now and the other night guard I had in the past. It was more comfortable, but I can see why it would crack easily. Perhaps you can look into getting a proper thick acrylic night guard made...it should not crack that easily.

Last edited by clencher1; 04-09-2013 at 02:24 PM.

 
Old 04-09-2013, 06:20 PM   #13
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Re: Night guards cracking

I wore an occlusal splint nightguard for years due to my bruxism issues. I had a couple that cracked early on. My dentist said I was exerting harder than usual force. He actually sent them back to the lab and I had both replaced for free. My last one lasted me about 4 years with no problem.

I then started seeing a specially trained functional orthodontist/craniofacial pain specialist/sleep dentistry specialist and switched from a night guard which just protected my teeth from bruxism damage to wearing splints designed to deal with my bite issues. I had a lower mandibular repositioning splint which made all the difference in the world. I wore it during the day. He also created a custom night splint for me. This splint had a wedge that came down behind my lower teeth and kept my lower jaw form falling back. It also had a "wedge" in the front that kept my teeth from touching at night. After a few months wearing that splint, I had significant improvement. Instead of protecting my teeth, the splint actually treated my problem that was contributing to my grinding. When I got my upper braces, I had to stop wearing the night splint and wore the lower splint 24/7. I had that splint, which was much thinner, for 3 years with no problems cracking.

With my orthodontic treatment to this point, I'm no longer bruxing at night. This after decades of bruxing/clenching/grinding. I worry about the bruxing returning after the braces come off, but my orthodontist said he would customize my retainer to address this when we get to that point.

By the way, when my current orthodontist took a look at my old night guard, he actually said it could have contributed to my TMJD issues. The flat plane occlusal splints allow the jaw to slide around when you are clenching and can throw the tmj out of place. I've learned that most regular dentists can take molds and send them to labs to have splints made, but most aren't trained to fit a splint with your bite.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #14
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Re: Night guards cracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by clencher1 View Post
Guess what I learned today. Stress has nothing to do with clenching/grinding at night.
That's completely untrue, it can be a HUGE factor for a lot of people. It could well not be *your* problem, but there's not a 1 size fits all reason for tmj.

Mountain reader: I think this is one of those times specialists will all disagree, mine insist that you should be able to move around the splint!

The best treatment I had for the muscle pain was botox. Obviously this doesn't help with the joint pain, but physio helped a little. I'm hypermobile though & was moving the joint.. weirdly. They helped a bit with that.

 
Old 04-10-2013, 09:43 AM   #15
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Re: Night guards cracking

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Originally Posted by cherrycherry View Post
That's completely untrue, it can be a HUGE factor for a lot of people. It could well not be *your* problem, but there's not a 1 size fits all reason for tmj.

Mountain reader: I think this is one of those times specialists will all disagree, mine insist that you should be able to move around the splint!

The best treatment I had for the muscle pain was botox. Obviously this doesn't help with the joint pain, but physio helped a little. I'm hypermobile though & was moving the joint.. weirdly. They helped a bit with that.
Sorry, didn't mean to offend, Cherry, but I was just passing along information that dentist shared with me. I agree there is definitely no one size fits all...wasn't saying that. For *you*, perhaps it is stress. For me and probably many others it has NOTHING to do with it. I stand corrected.

 
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