What Are the Benefits of Using Night Guards?
What Are Night Guards?
They are dental appliances that protect teeth from the effects of grinding or clenching (bruxism) during sleep. Bruxism is an oral condition that causes tooth wear, jaw pain, headaches, and other issues. Night guards are typically custom-made by dentists in Venice, FL, to fit your teeth and mouth precisely. They work by absorbing the forces of grinding or clenching and distributing them evenly across the teeth.
Types of Night Guards
There are several types of night guards available at Tarpon Shore Dental – Venice, including:
- Soft night guards – feature soft, flexible materials, making them quite comfortable to wear.
- Hard night guards – feature rigid materials, providing a durable barrier between teeth. These night guards are often better for patients with severe bruxism.
- Hybrid night guards – feature a combination of soft and hard materials, offering a balance of comfort and protection.
How Are Night Guards Applied?
The process of getting night guards in dental offices in Venice typically involves the following steps:
- Dental examination: David R. Smith will start by examining your mouth to assess the extent of damage due to bruxism to determine whether a night guard is an appropriate treatment option.
- Impressions: The dentist will then take an impression of your teeth using a putty-like material, creating a mold of your teeth for the night guard.
- Bite registration: The dentist may also take a record of the way your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite down.
- Night guard fabrication: The dentist will send the 3D mold of your teeth to a dental lab to customize the night guard to fit your mouth precisely.
- Fitting: Once the night guard is ready, the dentist will check its fit and make any necessary adjustments to optimize comfort and effectiveness.
When Do You Need Night Guards?
Not every patient can benefit from night guards in a dental clinic near them just because they grind and clench their teeth. Instead, you may need a night guard if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks – could be a sign of tooth wear caused by grinding or clenching.
- Frequent headaches – especially in the morning
- Jaw pain or discomfort in the jaw joint (TMJ) or surrounding muscles. TMJ disorder invites other oral problems, including jaw lock, ear pain, and clicking sounds when you move your mouth.
- A sore jaw when you wake up or grinding or clenching your teeth during the day.
- Tooth wear or damage – your teeth may appear worn, chipped, or cracked due to long-term bruxism.
- Disrupted sleep – due to the grinding sounds and discomfort when you sleep. Partners who share beds with patients who grind teeth also suffer from disrupted sleep.
Benefits of Night Guards
When you approach a dentist for bruxism treatment, you will understand that various treatment protocols can treat the condition. Before settling for any of them, matter their benefits. There are several benefits to using a night guard for teeth, including the following:
- Protecting teeth: Night guards are a protective barrier between teeth that prevent wear and tear and chipping and cracking. Therefore, they preserve your teeth’ strength and integrity over time.
- Managing pain and discomfort: Bruxism results in pain and discomfort in the jaw, neck, and head. Night guards reduce the pressure and tension in these areas, alleviating these symptoms and improving sleep quality.
- Preventing headaches: Overcoming the effects of clenching and grinding with night guards can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches.
- Protecting dental restorations: Excessive teeth grinding and clenching damages dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, or bridges unless you have a night guard.
- Improving sleep: Night guards help you sleep better by alleviating discomfort and eliminating the noise of grinding or clenching.
- Cost-effective: Compared to other treatment options for bruxism, such as orthodontic treatment or surgery, night guards are generally more affordable and less invasive.