When you clench your teeth, you slowly either grind down your enamel, your teeth until your teeth become quite flat or the forces are absorbed by your joint.
Over time the forces from clenching traumatize the meniscus that’s in your joint. Because the meniscus doesn’t have a blood supply, it won’t heal and it slowly gets thinner and thinner until your lower and upper jaw bone begin to touch. This is the similar knee joint, where forces may wear away the meniscus, until a knee replacement is required.
A night guard can help prevent the wear on the teeth from grinding. It is a plastic guard that is soft on the inside and hard on the outside. A night guard fits snugly over your teeth. It’s basically a plastic guard that’s hard on the outside and soft on the inside. And a night guard is good for people who are wearing down their teeth. But, it’s also good for someone who’s wearing down the meniscus in their joint because it protects your teeth from grinding. It puts you into an artificial rest position. Some people can’t wear a night guard for patients like that. Botox is an option.