A nightguard is a dental appliance used in the presence of “bruxism” (a disturbance that occurs intermittently during the sleep cycle and involves grinding or clenching of your teeth). It’s estimated that 30% of adults have this involuntary condition. The force of nighttime tooth grinding (up to 250 lbs per square inch) can cause a variety of painful symptoms.
Nightguards go by a variety of names, including “bite plate” or “occlusal splint.” Most over-the-counter appliances are ill-fitting and uncomfortable, so we recommend a custom-fitted appliance made of hard acrylic with clasps that can be adjusted to perfectly fit your bite.
If you have any of the below symptoms, ask us if a nightguard is appropriate for you!
Sports guards, mouth guards and mouth protectors are different names for the same thing: a device worn over your teeth that protects them from blows to the face and head. Mouth guards are an important piece of athletic equipment for anyone participating in a sport that involves falls, body contact or flying equipment. This includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, gymnastics, mountain biking — any activity that might result in an injury to the mouth.
Mouth guards typically cover the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth. If you wear braces or other fixed dental appliances (such as a bridge) on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.
No matter which type of mouth guard you choose, it should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should also fit properly and not restrict your speech or breathing. The three types of mouth guards are:
Custom-made mouth guards — These are individually designed and made in your dentist's office or a professional dental laboratory. Not surprisingly, they are likely to provide the most comfortable fit and best protection. Your dentist makes an impression of your teeth and then constructs the mouth guard over a model of them. Because they fit and feel better, most athletes prefer customized mouth guards. However, they are also the most expensive.
Boil and bite mouth guards — These come in a pre-formed shape that can be altered by boiling the mouth guard in water, then biting into the warm plastic for a customized fit. They can be bought at many sporting goods stores, and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. Follow the directions carefully to avoid winding up with a poor-fitting mouth guard.
Stock mouth guards — These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don't fit very well. They can be bulky and may make breathing and talking difficult.
Snoring appliances have a definite role in the management of selected patients with sleep apnea and/or snoring. The appliance will not cure the apnea and/or snoring but works non-surgically to realign the jaw and/or tongue to keep the airway open. Its intention is to prevent the apnea and/or snoring from occurring during sleep and so it must be worn each night to produce the desired effect. Regardless of how long it is worn, the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea or snoring will return when the appliance use is discontinued. There are no guarantees that an appliance will be successful in every patient due to physiologic and anatomic variations and patient tolerance of the appliance.
Oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are devices worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouthguards. They have several advantages over other forms of therapy. Oral appliances are comfortable, easy to wear and care for, and non-invasive. They are small and convenient, making them easy to carry with you when you travel.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances be used in patients with primary snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnea and in patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea who are intolerant of or refuse treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure.Research shows that oral appliance therapy is 85%-90% effective in reducing or eliminating snoring and 60%-70% in reducing mild-to-moderate sleep apnea to normal