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How a Night Guard Protects Your Teeth While You Sleep
One of the most commonly recommended types of treatment for teeth grinding are night guard. If symptoms of nighttime teeth grinding develop, it is encouraged to visit a dentist for treatment. Along with addressing the underlying causes of teeth grinding, a night guard is a great way to protect teeth and the jaw from becoming damaged.
How a night guard can prevent bruxism
There are several ways patients can deal with bruxism, and understanding the pros and cons of each option is helpful in finding the right choice for you. The following is an in-depth review of how a night guard can protect teeth from the effects of nighttime teeth grinding.
Night guard for teeth grinding explained
A night guard, also called an occlusal guard, is made of a hard plastic that is placed over teeth to protect it from the effects of teeth grinding (bruxism). There are two different types of night guards — store-bought and custom-crafted by a dentist. A custom-crafted night guard ensures optimal effectiveness and a comfortable fit, whereas a store-bought night guard is far less reliable. Night guards are often essential in protecting teeth from getting worn-down, chipped, cracked and loosened, which are all caused by teeth grinding.
Understanding the symptoms of teeth grinding
It is important to understand the symptoms of teeth grinding while asleep, as many do not notice when it occurs. The most notable symptoms include:
- Worn-down teeth
- Chips and cracks
- Loose teeth
- Sore jaw
- Locked jaw
- Inability to stay asleep
If multiple symptoms of teeth grinding exist, it is encouraged to visit the dentist for treatment. A night guard may be provided along with changes to one’s lifestyle, including stress management and various other aspects that may increase the risk of teeth grinding.
A night guard provides a barrier between teeth
A night guard works by providing a comfortable barrier between upper teeth and lower teeth. It is easy for the jaw to come together while asleep, leading to clenching and grinding of teeth, which a night guard can prevent. A custom-fit night guard may also be able to open up the airways for patients who have sleep apnea. This can help prevent teeth grinding altogether.
When a dentist might recommend a night guard
Anyone who experiences symptoms of nighttime teeth grinding or has caught themselves in the act of grinding their teeth should consider a visit to a dentist. The dentist can examine teeth to determine if teeth grinding is a concern and make a treatment recommendation accordingly. If teeth grinding is a concern, the dentist will likely recommend a night guard along with other treatment options to deal with the underlying issue.
Schedule a night guard consultation today
Talk to our dental team today to find out if a night guard for teeth grinding is right for you. Our friendly staff is happy to address any concerns you may have and schedule a time for you to come visit us.
Are you considering a night guard in the Santa Rosa area? Get more information at https://www.kennethbauerdds.com.
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