Do you wake up with a sore jaw or headache? Or have your loved ones complained about the sound of your teeth grinding at night? If so, you may benefit from wearing a night guard while you sleep. Night guards are dental appliances that can protect your teeth and alleviate discomfort caused by grinding or clenching.
What Are Night Guards?
Night guards, also known as occlusal guards or bite splints, are dental appliances designed to protect teeth from grinding and clenching during sleep. These devices function as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent them from touching and wearing down.
Made of durable plastic materials, night guards come in various shapes and sizes that can fit over your top or bottom teeth. They are custom-made by taking impressions of your teeth to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
People who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) or temporomandibular disorders (TMD) may benefit from wearing night guards. Bruxism can cause tooth sensitivity, worn-down enamel, jaw pain, headaches, and even tooth fractures if left untreated. TMD is characterized by discomfort in the jaw joint area when opening or closing the mouth.
While there are over-the-counter options available for purchase at drugstores or online retailers, it's essential to consult with a dentist before using one. A customized night guard made by a dental professional will provide superior protection while ensuring maximum comfort during use.
Night guards provide an effective solution for preventing damage caused by bruxism while promoting oral health hygiene.
How Do Night Guards Work?
Night guards work as a physical barrier between your teeth, cushioning them against the impact of grinding or clenching. They are usually made from soft yet durable materials like acrylic resin or silicone, which can be molded to fit your mouth comfortably.
When you wear a night guard, it helps to redistribute the forces that would normally be concentrated on just a few teeth, spreading them across your entire dental arch. This not only reduces the amount of pressure placed on any one tooth but also helps to prevent damage to your gums and jawbone.
In addition to providing protection for your teeth, night guards can also help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with bruxism, such as headaches, jaw pain, and earaches. By preventing excessive force from being applied to these areas during sleep, they can reduce tension in muscles that might otherwise become strained over time.
Night guards are an effective solution for people who suffer from bruxism or other related conditions. They offer both short-term relief from discomfort as well as long-term protection against costly dental problems down the line.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard?
Wearing a night guard can provide numerous benefits for those who suffer from teeth grinding or clenching. By cushioning your teeth and preventing them from coming into direct contact with each other, you can avoid the damage that this habit can cause over time.
In addition to protecting your teeth, wearing a night guard can also help alleviate jaw pain and headaches associated with bruxism. It may even improve sleep quality by reducing disruptions caused by grinding noises or discomfort.
If you suspect that you may be grinding your teeth at night, it's worth considering whether a night guard could benefit you. Talk to your dentist about getting fitted for one, and start sleeping more soundly, knowing that your oral health is protected.
To learn more about these or other dentistry options, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Fort Union Family Dental located at 8915 S 700 E Ste 103, Sandy, Utah 84070, or call (801) 562-2147 today! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!