What Are Night Guards for Bruxism?
Bruxism, or grinding and clenching your teeth while you sleep, is an everyday problem that affects many men, women, and even children. While the most noticeable symptom is the deterioration of tooth enamel, nocturnal bruxism may also lead to tooth pain, headaches, and gum recession. Discomfort in your neck and shoulders along with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) may also result from a bruxism habit. To guard your mouth and health against the effects of teeth grinding, LANCO Dental Care offers custom night guards to help protect your oral structures from damaging effects. These appliances can also improve the quality of your sleep by reducing jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Custom night guards are made with high-quality materials and fit comfortably in your mouth. To hear more about the benefits of custom night guards for you or your loved ones, set up a consultative visit at our Lancaster, PA dental practice.
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What Are The Benefits Of Night Guards?
Wearing a night guard can help prevent more serious oral health conditions from developing and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms associated with clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night. There are numerous benefits to utilizing night guards as a teeth grinding (bruxism) treatment, such as:
- Reduces the risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Prevents further damage to your teeth
- Improved quality of sleep
- Helps to prevent snoring
- Reduces jaw tension and pain
Are You Grinding Your Teeth?
A number of signs and symptoms may indicate that you are grinding your teeth and/or clenching your jaw at night. You might wake up in the morning with tightness and discomfort in your jaw, headaches, or swelling in your lower face. Other indicators include worn teeth or fillings, chipped enamel, tooth sensitivity, and a receding gumline. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching at night are often caused by stress but could also be brought on by misaligned teeth, allergies, a sleep disorder, certain medications, or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), among others. While our experienced team is diagnosing your bruxism, we will also try to determine the cause so your night guard may be combined with other treatments for optimal results and comfort.
What Is The Night Guard Process?
Night guards are worn over the upper or lower teeth. These appliances help keep the upper and lower arches in proper relation to one another and can prevent grinding and clenching from occurring while also protecting the teeth. If a bruxism diagnosis is rendered, we can take impressions of your mouth so your custom night guard can be created. LANCO Dental Care will send these impressions along with specific details of your case to a dental laboratory where your specialized night guard will be made from the highest quality materials. After your night guard is complete and sent back to us, you will return to our office for a fitting. We may make small adjustments so that it fits correctly, securely, and comfortably. You will also be given instructions on how to care for your night guard so that it may be long-lasting.
Are There Any Recommendation for Aftercare?
For maximum night guard efficiency, you will need to wear your appliance each night. Your night guard will help to minimize or alleviate the discomfort and dental issues caused by bruxism. If it does not provide the necessary relief, please inform our staff so that we can consider other issues and try alternative treatments. In order to help keep your mouth and night guard in great condition, we recommend that you clean your teeth and appliance prior to and following each use. It is a good idea to bring your bruxism guard to all future appointments so that we can adjust it for comfort as needed and ensure it still fits properly.
Night Guards FAQ
Why are night guards primarily used?
Many of our patients choose to get a night guard when they experience bruxism (teeth grinding at night). A custom night guard can help protect the teeth while preventing headaches, jaw pain, and more.
How do I know if I need an upper or lower guard?
When you're looking into custom night guards at our Lancaster, PA office, we will work with you to ensure you understand every step of the procedure and why we do what we do. We often suggest our patients get an upper mouth guard, as this doesn't interfere with the tongue or lower jaw. There are certain circumstances where we might suggest a bottom guard, such as if you have a dental restoration on the bottom jaw.
How long will my night guard last?
Generally, night guards usually last around five years. Certain factors, such as the material used to create the guard and proper care for the night guard, can impact how long it lasts. We ask you to bring your night guard to all routine appointments so we can check to ensure it's in good condition and let you know right away when it should be replaced.
Enhance Your Quality of Sleep
Grinding your teeth can lead to discomfort and damage and affect your oral health in a number of ways. Night guards are often an effective option to diminish the sleepless nights caused by the negative side effects of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Custom night guard appliances from LANCO Dental Care can also preserve the overall health of your mouth and help prevent future complications. If this sounds like a solution to your needs or you are interested in learning more, connect with our family dental practice in Lancaster, PA, to schedule a consultation with our caring, experienced team.