An occlusal guard is a custom fabricated mouthguard which is worn over the teeth to protect them against damage caused by clenching or grinding. It works by creating a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth so that you bite against the guard rather than wearing down your teeth. Most people are unaware that they grind (also called bruxism ) or clench their teeth as it usually happens when they are sleeping. It is often a person’s partner who first notices that they are grinding their teeth. People tend to go through phases of grinding their teeth, such as during times of stress. It is during these times that you may need to wear an occlusal night guard to prevent doing permanent damage to your teeth. During a patient’s initial exam and visit, Dr. Gatgens will evaluate each patient to look for signs and symptoms to recognize this disease called Occlusal Disease. Our goal is to protect the teeth from future wear and damage that could be costly and cause the patient pain.