Clenching or grinding the teeth, commonly known as Bruxism, is a very common oral habit that occurs while sleeping. Over a period of time, teeth grinding can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and your overall oral health. A night guard is one of the most common and best solutions to reduce the damage to your teeth due to clenching.
What is a Nightguard?
A night guard is a customized oral appliance that gets fitted over the teeth. It is generally worn while sleeping. The use of a nightguard is a recommended treatment for Bruxism, as it protects the teeth from significant damage.
Some of the nightguards are sold by pharmacies, which are either boil-and-bite or one-size-fits-all type. To use such nightguards, you first need to sterilize them in boiling water. Once it cools off for a short while, you can gently bite it to shape it as per your teeth. Such mouthguards usually do not provide a comfortable fit as they are not customized to match the contour of your teeth. Hence, we recommend the use of a customized nightguard that we provide in our dental practice. It offers a longer lifespan, better protection from abrasive wear, and the fit prevents any sort of discomfort when you wear it.
How Does a Nightguard Work?
When grinding or clenching happens in sleep, the force is transferred to the night guard instead of to the teeth and jaws, thereby preventing damage to the teeth. This also prevents excessive stress from being applied to the muscles around the TMJ, keeping them from developing TMJ disorder.
Benefits of a Nightguard
- Wearing a nightguard provides a good night's sleep as you wouldn't be disturbed due to pain and discomfort.
- A night guard protects your teeth from damage by providing a cushioning effect. This cushion acts as a barrier and helps to prevent cracked, worn-down, and chipped teeth.
- Nightguards prevent excessive wear of enamel, which avoids tooth sensitivity.
- A nightguard helps in preventing morning jaw pain and headaches that may be caused due to the act of clenching during the night.
Types of Nightguards
Soft nightguards are the most commonly used nightguard to treat Bruxism as they are most comfortable to wear and affordable. These are used for mild or occasional cases of Bruxism.
Hard nightguards are made from acrylic, which makes them durable and sturdy. These nightguards are best suited for severe grinding and offer the longest lifespan.
Dual Laminate Nightguards
Dual laminate nightguards are best suited for moderate-to-severe teeth grinding. These nightguards are hard on the outside but soft on the inside, thus protecting the teeth from wear. They also offer a longer lifespan than soft guards.
Please reach out to our dental practice in Chesterfield, MO, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Hawatmeh. Please call us at (314) 576-4462 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.