Dental Night Guards Bring Lasting Relief
When we sleep, some of us are jaw clenchers. In fact, clenching your jaw or grating your teeth at night is caused by numerous genetic, physical, and emotional factors, either individually or compounded together. So, while a select few of us can control this behavior through good mental health practices, not everyone is so lucky.
Regardless of if it’s a temporary issue or a chronic behavior, if you’re someone who deals with that persistent painful grind, you know how uncomfortable it is. Bruxism, the official name for teeth clenching and grinding, causes not only TMJ or jaw pain but can also wear down and damage your teeth without you realizing it.
Thankfully, nighttime dental guards are a common and simple fix for those who suffer from bruxism. These humble dental guards are excellent at protecting your teeth from harm. For many patients, dental mouth guards can help with TMJ symptoms and even treat dangerous conditions like sleep apnea.
Benefits of Custom Fit Night Dental Guards
No two mouths and no two dental situations are the same. Some of us have misaligned bites or cosmetic dentistry, like veneers, to protect. If you’re looking for relief from pain caused by nighttime clenching and grinding, a custom-fitted dental guard is a simple way to precisely fit your needs to bring long-lasting relief.
Many people are particular about how they sleep, so comfort is of the utmost importance. When you are custom-fitted for a nightguard, your dentist will work with you to find the ideal solution for your pain points. For example, if you’re only a mild grinder, we can fabricate your night guard with soft and flexible materials to protect your teeth without sacrificing comfort. On the other hand, if you tend to put a lot of pressure on your teeth at night, then we’ll need to use a sturdier material or even a hybrid guard, which is soft on the inside and hard on the outside.
We fabricate our night guards using precise specifications in a dental laboratory with only the highest quality materials. With detailed digital scans from our office, your guard will be custom designed to fit your mouth precisely with the stability to provide relief for years to come.
Helping Sleep Apnea with Night Guards
Sleep apnea is a common yet serious sleep disorder that affects about 25% of men and 10% of women. This sleep disorder is characterized by gasping, choking, or noticeable pauses in breathing throughout the night. Unfortunately, for many sufferers, this disorder often goes undiagnosed and can have a lasting impact on their health and life by causing excessive daytime drowsiness, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and decreased metabolism.
Dental guards are a known treatment for sleep apnea, but since this disorder often goes undiagnosed, many don’t realize they need to seek them out. The trouble is, sleep guards not designed for patients who suffer from sleep apnea may improve their bruxism symptoms but can worsen the effects of their sleep disorder by interfering with the wearer’s airways.
Considering this, keith + associates performs sleep studies on patients to check for sleep apnea and ensure we treat the precise cause of your pain before prescribing your dental night guard.
If sleep apnea is an area of concern, we can fabricate nighttime sleep guards far more comfortable than traditional CPAP machines. These night guards gently move the jaw forward to increase the size of the upper airways. This will reduce the air resistance that is a frequent contributor to sleep apnea issues.
Patients who utilize custom dental guards for aiding their sleep apnea symptoms have found their cost-effectiveness to be a suitable option to some alternatives and a significantly more comfortable sleep compared to utilizing other devices. In addition, using a mouth guard at night for sleep apnea also allows for a more discreet and quiet option in comparison to bulky and uncomfortable CPAP machines.
Can I buy a night guard from the store?
When you think of a dental guard, your mind may first turn to the ones you’ve seen in your local drug store. But, unfortunately, while their affordability and convenience may be tempting, most mass-produced solutions just don’t perform well due to their inferior material quality and cookie-cutter approach.
In general, as you browse your pharmacy aisles, you’re apt to see two major types of guards: the stock ‘one size fits all’ guard or the boil and bite style.
Stock-style dental guards are certainly a more affordable option for some, given their generalized sizing approach. However, their imprecise fit frequently makes them ineffective and sometimes causes unintended damage to your teeth. These guards are also bulky, uncomfortable, and flimsy, with plastics that can irritate delicate gum tissue and the interior skin of your mouth.
Boil and bite dental guards are similar to those you may have seen in recreational sports. This style is made of soft thermoplastic that becomes pliable when warmed in boiling water so that you can create a custom fit by gently biting into it.
For store-bought guards, this type performs a little better when treating nighttime bruxism than their stock-style counterpart. But, unfortunately, they still lack the long-term build quality of a dentist’s custom-fitted guard. Also, if you unknowingly struggle with a disorder like sleep apnea, this type of guard could aggravate your condition instead of improving it.
Tooth damage and jaw pain from nighttime grinding can end up being terribly painful. In addition, this common affliction can affect your quality of sleep, the longevity of your teeth, and your ability to eat without aches. If these symptoms sound like you, a custom dental guard may be your ticket to more restful nights.
The experienced staff at keith + associates are your experts in mouthguard fabrication. After a sleep study, we use modern scanning and modeling techniques to create your guard quickly and comfortably. If you’re ready for a good night’s sleep, free of grinding or sleep apnea disruptions, we can help.