Many people have heard of occlusal guards yet are not sure what one really is.  An occlusal night guard is an appliance made of thermoplastic acrylic material.  It softens when placed in warm water and hardens in room temperature. It fits on either the upper teeth or lower teeth.  This appliance is designed to stop the wear on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.  This wear can lead to serious problems down the road.  Though most people wear them only at night some people wear them all day!  Many of us, especially when stressed, clench or grind our teeth. One may experience symptoms such as, jaw, neck, ear or face pain, headaches, awaking at night to jaw discomfort, as well as increased tooth sensitivity.  Some stores do offer similar do it yourself appliances.  Although these homemade appliances can reduce tooth wear, the quality, longevity and custom fit the dentist provides is not the same.   Poor fitting appliances can actually sometimes cause symptoms to worsen.  Call us today for a consultation to see if you are one of the many needing this appliance.