Questions Answered About Wearing Night Guards

Posted on: May 2, 2018

A lot of people can benefit from wearing night guards while sleeping but few people are aware of them or how they can improve their health. In our dental office, we regularly ask our patients questions about their sleep and examine their teeth to look for signs of things like nighttime grinding or clenching. If we discover them, we may just recommend a night guard.

Who can benefit from wearing a night guard?

Anyone who grinds their teeth at night, clenches their jaw or wakes up with a sore face or a headache can benefit from this simple appliance.

How can wearing a night guard help me?

When someone wears this type of guard at night, it prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching. By doing so, it forces the jaw to remain in a relaxed position. Immediately, this helps anyone who is waking up with a sore jaw, sore face or a headache.

It helps because the cause of this pain is likely that a patient is clenching their teeth while sleeping. This means the muscles in the face and jaw are going to be tense throughout the night. This would be like lifting a dumbbell all night long. Obviously the next morning your arm will be sore. The same thing is true for the muscles in the jaw and face.

Wearing a night guard also helps people who are prone to damage or showing signs of wear. Grinding teeth while sleeping can lead to cracks, chips and the erosion of the enamel. This can cause damage to natural teeth and to dental restorations.

By wearing a guard while sleeping, it is impossible to grind teeth. This decreases the risk of dental damage. Think of this as an affordable preventive measure to reduce the likelihood of needing more dental restorations in the future.

Each guard is customized for the individual patient

Some people hesitate to explore this treatment option because they are fearful that the guard will be uncomfortable and make it difficult to sleep. This is not the case.

Night guards are actually very comfortable because we take a mold of the individual patient's mouth and use that to customize the night guard. The result is easy to place, comfortable to wear and secure. As a result, it will not slip out-of-place during sleep and will not prevent someone from becoming comfortable.

Will wearing a guard create problems after completing an orthodontic treatment?

No. Typically, an orthodontist will give patients a retainer to wear after completing the teeth straightening treatment. This retainer holds teeth in the correct position and ensures that they do not move backward. If a person needs to wear a retainer at night, a guard should be sufficient in its place. Nonetheless, we invite patients to speak with us about all of this during a consultation before making a decision.

Have a night guard created

This is an incredibly affordable and convenient solution. We recommend scheduling an appointment to have one created for you so that you can benefit from wearing a guard on a nightly basis.

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