A night guard is a type of mouthguard that's worn while sleeping. It is used to prevent teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.
If you grind your teeth, they may prematurely wear. Wearing a night guard, you can prevent this wear and protect your teeth from jaw clenching as well.
When Are Night Guards Used?
Night guards are used to treating bruxism, a condition in which your jaw clenches or grinds while you sleep. This habit, if left untreated, can lead to jaw pain, cracked teeth, headaches, and more.
Many patients choose to get a custom night guard because of the difference in fit and comfort. A custom night guard fits perfectly; however, over-the-counter night guards only offer one size and tend to fit poorly, which makes sleeping difficult.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard?
A night guard offers numerous benefits, such as:
Without a night guard, your jaw grinds together when you sleep, causing pain and discomfort. A night guard protects the teeth and provides a smooth surface for grinding. This prevents damage to the teeth and provides a better night's sleep.
Night guards are made from a custom mold of your teeth, so they will fit properly and comfortably. This prevents teeth from grinding and also helps with sleep issues.
Eliminate morning headaches
If you wake up with a headache, it may be because the enamel is worn down from clenching and grinding. By wearing a night guard, you can alleviate this pain.
Eliminate jaw pain
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to a variety of painful symptoms. A night guard helps to alleviate these symptoms by keeping your upper and lower jaw separated while you sleep.
Preserve tooth enamel
Enamel is the strongest substance in the body. Unfortunately, it's sapped away by acidic foods and drinks, as well as by physical trauma. If you grind your teeth at night, you are at risk of wearing down your enamel.
This can cause sensitivity, pain when eating or drinking, cracking, and chips. This affects your appearance, too, as teeth that are worn and chipped look ragged. A night guard will protect your enamel by covering your teeth.
Protect against TMJ/TMD disorder
Night guards are a great way to protect your teeth from daily wear and tear. If you are suffering from a TMJ disorder or TMD, a night guard can help alleviate the pain.
How Do I Care for My Night Guard?
Taking care of your night guard means keeping it clean and protected from damage. The night guard should be worn while sleeping, so you will need to clean it after each use. Brush and rinse it under cool water, brushing gently with a soft toothbrush. Do not soak the night guard, as this may damage it. Keep the night guard in a protective case or bag when not wearing it.
At Wade K. Marler, D.D.S, we offer the best dental care possible to each of our patients in a positive and relaxing environment. If you're ready to experience the best dental care, please contact us at (253) 852-0480 or visit us at 17203 SE 270th Pl, Covington, WA 98042.