Night Guards Can Help Protect Your Smile
If you wake up in the morning with an aching jaw, it’s possible that you’re suffering from teeth grinding or jaw clenching at night. It’s possible that wearing a custom made night guard can help you reduce these problems at night and protect your teeth effectively. Our doctors will work closely with you to determine whether a mouth guard is the best treatment option for you.
What Is a Custom Night Guard?
A custom mouth guard is made to fit perfectly over your upper and lower teeth to help prevent the damage caused by grinding or clenching your jaw while you sleep. It’s possible that you will still move your teeth in a grinding motion or continue to clench your jaw at night.
However, the cushioning is meant to prevent damage from grinding and lessen the amount of pressure from grinding. Your jaw will get a rest overnight, and you’ll wake up with less pain.
Wearing a Guard to Bed
Some people shy away from wearing a mouth guard because they’re afraid it will be uncomfortable to wear during sleep, which is why you need to get a custom mouth guard from your dentist instead of buying one over the counter. Even if you buy one in a store that you can mold to your mouth, it will never fit as perfectly as one made for just for you by a professional.
A custom-made guard made just for you offers the most comfort available, and ensures it will not interrupt a restful night’s sleep. Your dentist will start by taking a mold of your mouth. Custom guards are made to fit every nook and cranny of your teeth, which is why it’s preferred over store bought guards. This customization makes sure it fits snug but comfortably in your mouth.
Initially, it will take some time to adjust to wearing this device to bed. It could take a few weeks until it feels like a normal part of your sleep routine. You should be able to breathe and speak without issue while wearing your night guard. If it is uncomfortably painful or doesn’t seem to fit anymore, take it to your dentist for an evaluation.
Are There Any Other Options for Treatment?
There are some other things you can try to lessen or eliminate jaw clenching or teeth grinding, including:
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
- Don’t smoke
- Do yoga, meditation, or some other relaxation technique, especially right before bed
- Refrain from chewing on anything that isn’t food during the day because it helps train your jaw to clench
While these are certainly valid treatment options to try, it’s important to have your dentist assess the amount of damage in your mouth. If you have already caused some injury to your teeth or jaw and your dentist recommends a night guard, you should use these alternative treatments in conjunction with one.
Remember, a mouth guard doesn’t fully stop the behavior; it only helps control the damage. If you begin practicing relaxation techniques and give up cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine, you may notice a difference. It’s possible that the behavior will stop and you may no longer need the device, but until the behavior changes, wearing a guard is the only way to make sure no additional damage is occurring.
What Can a Mouth Guard Do For Me?
There are several of benefits to wearing a night guard for teeth grinding or jaw clenching:
- Get a more peaceful night’s sleep.
- Wake up with less pain.
- Stop damaging the enamel of your teeth.
- Protect dental work from damage.
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