A Basic Guide to Night Guards

A Basic Guide to Night Guards

Sep 01, 2021

Do you wake up with jaw pains and headaches? Teeth grinding or clenching could be a possible cause. Commonly known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a sleep-related movement disorder where a patient clenches their teeth unconsciously, particularly at night.

Common Causes of Bruxism Include:

  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Sleep apnea – A sleep disorder where a patient’s breathing suddenly stops and continues when sleeping.
  • High levels of stress.
  • Poor occlusal – It’s a condition where the upper and lower teeth don’t meet as they should.
  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Chronic or acute mouth trauma.
  • Nicotine use.
  • Excessive alcohol and coffee intake.
  • Continued use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, amphetamines, or antipsychotics.
  • Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases.
  • Neurotransmitter disruption.

When to Seek Help

If you’re worried that you have bruxism, it’s essential to seek help as soon as possible. Continued teeth grinding or clenching are not only harmful teeth. They also cause headaches and jaw pain. As strong as your teeth may feel and look, they may not be able to withstand the constant force or abrasion of teeth grinding. In most cases, it causes your teeth to wear down.

Visiting your dentist can help diagnose and treat the underlying condition that causes teeth grinding, giving you a peaceful sleep. Depending on your condition, you can get relief through medication, lifestyle changes, or oral devices.

Nightguards are some of the most commonly used oral devices for teeth grinding. They are easily accessible, safe, affordable, and highly effective in preventing the ugly side effects of teeth grinding.

What are Night Guards?

Basically, a nightguard is a plastic retainer-like object that is worn over the teeth, covering the biting surfaces. It’s worth noting that different patients have different teeth patterns. While it may seem like a good idea to get a nightguard in your local store, having a custom-made guard from your dentist is advisable.

Compared to a generic guard obtained over the counter, a customized night guard is designed to fit your bite, ensuring a perfect and comfortable fit. This also lessens the chances of gum, teeth, and jawbone damage. A well-fitting guard is also likely to serve you for longer.

Benefits of Wearing a Nightguard

If you’re wondering how wearing a nightguard may be beneficial, here are five benefits:

  • 1. Prevent Teeth Damage

Protection against teeth damage is the primary benefit of wearing a nightguard. Continued teeth grinding can cause teeth chipping, damaged restorations, and excessive wear to the teeth’s enamel. While wearing a night guard won’t prevent you from grinding your teeth, it will protect your teeth against grinding over each other, safeguarding your smile.

  • 2. Reduced Headaches

Headaches are some of the major side effects of teeth grinding. Wearing a nightguard will reduce the impact or stress put on your jaw and teeth during teeth grinding, significantly reducing the headaches and associated pains.

  • 3. Improved Sleep

By reducing the impact of teeth grinding, discomforts such as headaches, jaw pain, and neck pain are reduced, giving you a better and quality sleep.

  • 4. Safe, Affordable, and Comfortable

Nightguards offer maximum comfort while reducing the symptoms of teeth grinding. If you get a custom-made guard, you can be assured of a perfect fit that is comfortable for your teeth and gums.

  • 5. Saves You Money in the Long Run

Given the small amount of money you pay to have a nightguard, you save thousands of dollars in the long run. For instance, continued teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage, which may require expensive restorative treatments for esthetic and functional purposes in the future.

Caring for Your Night Guards

To continue enjoying the benefits of wearing a night guard and maintaining good oral health, proper dental care and hygiene are essential. To care for your guard and other oral structures, use these tips:

  • Use a soft brush to clean your night guard every day. Allow the night guard to dry well before storing it in its case.
  • Brush and floss daily. Make sure you brush your teeth well before wearing the night guard.
  • Do not eat or drink with your guards on.
  • Notify your dentist immediately if your night guard is damaged.
  • Eat well and hydrate well.
  • Schedule frequent visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and exams.
  • Use fluoride-based toothpaste and mouthwash for stronger teeth.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you need night guards services, or would you like to learn more about night guards procedures? Contact Randolph Dental Group to get started on treatment today.

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