What are night guards and why are they important?
Night Guards are dental devices that are worn during sleep to protect teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of bruxism, which is the habit of grinding or clenching teeth.
Here are some reasons why people should wear night guards:
- Prevents damage to teeth: Bruxism can cause excessive wear and tear on teeth, leading to chipping, cracking, or even fracturing of teeth. Wearing a nightguard can prevent this damage by providing a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, cushioning the impact of grinding or clenching.
- Relieves jaw pain: Bruxism can also cause pain and discomfort in the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A night guard can help to alleviate this pain by reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the jaw during sleep.
- Improves sleep quality: Bruxism can also disrupt sleep by causing frequent awakenings or restless sleep. Wearing a nightguard can help to improve sleep quality by reducing the frequency and intensity of teeth grinding or clenching.
- Reduces headaches: Bruxism can cause tension headaches, which can be debilitating and impact daily activities. Wearing a nightguard can help to reduce the frequency and severity of tension headaches by alleviating the underlying cause of bruxism.
Overall, wearing a nightguard can help to protect teeth, alleviate jaw pain, improve sleep quality, and reduce headaches. It is important to consult your dentist to determine if a nightguard is the right treatment option for your specific needs.
What different kinds of night guards are there?
There are several different kinds of night guards that can be used to treat bruxism, depending on an individual’s specific needs and preferences. Here are some of the most common types of nightguards:
- Soft Night Guards: Soft night guards are made of a pliable, rubber-like material that is comfortable to wear and provides a cushioning effect for the teeth. They are often recommended for individuals with mild to moderate bruxism.
- Dual Laminate Night Guards: Dual laminate night guards are made of two layers of material, with a hard outer layer and a soft inner layer. They provide a balance of durability and comfort, and are often recommended for individuals with moderate to severe bruxism.
- Hard Acrylic Night Guards: Hard acrylic night guards are made of a rigid, durable material that is designed to withstand the force of heavy grinding or clenching. They are often recommended for individuals with severe bruxism.
- Custom-Fitted Nightguards: Custom-fitted night guards are made specifically for an individual’s mouth, based on impressions taken by a dentist. They provide a comfortable, snug fit and are often recommended for individuals with any level of bruxism.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and are interested in chatting with your dentist about a night guard, give us a call at 301-663-8300 to schedule a consultation. We will determine which type of nightguard is most appropriate for your specific needs and level of bruxism. A properly fitting night guard can provide effective protection and relief from the damaging effects of teeth grinding and clenching.