Often times, when we’re sleeping, we are unaware of the habits we accrue. Further, we’re unable to say what happens in our sleep in general. A dental professional has ways of telling what effects your nightly habits are having on your teeth. Night guards can help correct the habits as well as other issues stemming from these habits.
What is a Night Guard
A night guard is a small plastic dental appliance that is worn over the teeth at night. This keeps the upper and lower teeth from touching while you sleep. Each night guard is created as a custom piece for each patient. This way, it fits into the mouth without being bulky or feeling uncomfortable.
Teeth Wear and Tear
In the middle of the night, it’s common for people to grind their teeth or even clinch their jaw. Grinding can cause teeth to be worn away. Both clinching and grinding can cause teeth to crack or fracture. Teeth can even be reshaped due to grinding at night. A night guard protects your teeth from this grinding and clenching by acting as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth.
Often times, you may experience tooth pain and be clueless as to what causes it. If it’s not a cavity or other issues that would be obvious, it’s most likely from grinding your teeth in the middle of the night, which is also known as “bruxism.” Normal wear and tear happen to your teeth during the night as well with the teeth just resting against each other. This can cause enamel issues, etc. A night guard protects your teeth from this normal wear and tear, stunting its progress.
TMJ is a common issue dealing with the jaw. It involves the muscles used to chew as well as the joint that connects your jaw to the skull. TMJ has many causes but, bruxism is a common cause. Grinding can cause issues with ligaments, jaw structure, teeth, nerves, etc. These issues can result in TMJ.
Clinching your jaw and grinding your teeth can cause pressure in the jaw which can result in headaches. This can turn into chronic headaches that occur nightly or daily. This is caused by the habits you have formed at night. A night guard prevents this issue.
Although night guards can be bought over the counter, it’s suggested you purchase one from your dental professional. A dental professional can customize the night guard to your mouth and specific needs. Further, before suggesting a night guard, a dental professional can conduct a checkup to ensure your issue can be fixed or helped by using a night guard. This dental tool is very useful and covers a plethora of issues that can be caused by nightly habits.