Teeth clenching has the potential to damage a child's teeth, but it can also cause jaw pain and migraines. When your child is suffering from this problem, your dentist may recommend a nociceptive trigeminal inhibition device, often referred to as an NTI device. The device suppresses tension in the jaw and prevents teeth clenching from occurring. Here is what you need to know about NTI devices, and how they can help.

Signs of Teeth Clenching

Since teeth clenching can have a subtle appearance to others, you may be having difficulty figuring out if your child is doing it. You should look for signs such as TMJ issues, earaches, and if they wake throughout the night.

When you notice these signs, have your child examined by a doctor to ensure that it isn't due to a medical condition. If everything looks good health-wise, the next step is to visit a dentist who can investigate their problem with teeth clenching.

Mouth Guards

If your dentist determines that their symptoms are due to teeth clenching, they will have your child wear a special night guard while they are sleeping. These devices are designed to protect your child's teeth, and stop the teeth clenching behavior. They look similar to a mouth guard, but they are a bit more advanced.

How NTI Devices Work

The design of the NTI device is based on the reflex that causes you to open your mouth when biting down hard on something using the front teeth. The reflex will actually prevent you from causing damage to your teeth by opening the jaw. Your dentist will create a mouth guard made out of acrylic that is worn on the upper and lower teeth when sleeping. If they clench their teeth when wearing the mouth guard, it activates the reflex that stops clenching from happening.

The NTI device is easy to make, and will not require an impression or mold to be taken of the teeth. The device can be fitted onto a patient's teeth in the office on the same day as a consultation. These devices snap onto the front teeth, and can only be removed by hand. This helps ensure that the device will not fall out overnight.

If you have more questions about teeth clenching and NTI devices, speak with your dentist. They can walk you through the process so that you do not have any surprises about how the device works.

For family dentistry, contact a company such as Market Street Dental PC.