Night Guards With Smart Family Dentistry
A night guard, also called a bite guard, is a custom made mouth guard, designed to keep its user from clenching their jaw and grinding their teeth while they sleep. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, and clenching can cause many short term and long term problems such as headaches, jaw pain, or even dental emergencies including chipped or cracked teeth. Wearing a night guard can often help prevent the symptoms of Bruxism, headaches that originate from tooth grinding, and help maintain high-quality dental hygiene.
If a patient continues to clench or grind their teeth while wearing a night guard, the appliance helps to distribute the loan evenly which will be kinder to the jaw joints and it will also prevent contact between the top and bottom teeth, eliminating tooth to tooth wear while it is in use.
Are Night Guards For Me?
Unless a loved one or partner informs you, it is very difficult to identify things you do while you are asleep. Often times, the symptoms of Bruxism can go unnoticed or masked, however, grinding can be identified by certain symptoms like jaw and facial soreness, tooth pain, and ear & headaches. If you are experiencing these symptoms first thing in the morning, a night guard may be for you.
Often times, people who suffer from Bruxism, do not notice the symptoms until they’ve had a visit to their local dentist. With Bruxism, the incisors and canines move in a lateral motion against one another, causing a grinding motion on the top surface of the tooth. This not only dulls the sharp biting surfaces of the teeth, but also can lead to tooth decay of the enamel, and cause damage to any previous dental work. Most often, Bruxism occurs during the early stages of sleep, prior to deep sleep. However, it is not limited to your sleep cycles. Bruxism can also occur during waking hours and is generally a result of stress or anger.
Bruxism is considered common, and affects over 10% of adults and over 15% of children, with an increased discovery rate among families with a history of the disorder. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Bruxism, however, a simple visit to the dentist can reveal whether or not a night guard is right for you.
What Are The Benefits of Night Guards?
Night guards may seem silly, but to someone who wakes up every day with chronic ear or headaches, they can be a lifesaver. Designed to alleviate the pressure in your mouth, night guards act as a cushioning for jaw muscles, relieving stress and strain on the muscles in your face, ears, and mouth. This also, in turn, helps to protect the sharp surface of your teeth, and maintain healthy tooth enamel.
Between severe head and earaches, facial pain, and toothaches caused by Bruxism, a night guard may just be the difference between a restless night and a good night's sleep.