Using Night Guards for Your Teeth

Using Night Guards for Your Teeth


Are you tired of waking up with a sore jaw or experiencing constant headaches?

If so, you might be one of the millions of people who suffer from teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. But don't worry; there's a solution that can help you put an end to this painful and damaging habit. Introducing night guards – the secret weapon to preserving your dental health and ensuring a good night's sleep.

Night guards are custom-made devices that fit comfortably over your teeth, providing a protective barrier between your upper and lower jaws. By wearing a night guard while you sleep, you can prevent the harmful effects of grinding, such as worn-down teeth, jaw pain, and even tooth fractures.

But that's not all! Night guards also help alleviate the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a condition often associated with bruxism. So say goodbye to teeth grinding and hello to a healthier, more restful sleep with the help of night guards.

Causes and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding has various causes and can occur during both the day and night.

Stress and anxiety are common triggers for teeth grinding, as well as misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite. In some cases, it can also be a side effect of certain medications or a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of teeth grinding are often similar. Some common signs to look out for include waking up with a sore jaw or facial muscles, headaches, earaches, and tooth sensitivity.

 Over time, teeth grinding can lead to more severe dental issues such as worn-down enamel, chipped or cracked teeth, and even tooth loss. That's why it's crucial to address this problem as early as possible.

The Impact of Teeth Grinding on Dental Health

Teeth grinding has a significant impact on your dental health if left untreated. The constant grinding and clenching put excessive pressure on your teeth, wearing down the enamel and making them more susceptible to damage. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities.

Additionally, the excessive force exerted during grinding can cause cracks or fractures in the teeth, which may require extensive dental work to repair.

Moreover, the constant pressure on the jaw joints can result in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a condition characterized by jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds, and difficulty in opening or closing the mouth. The effects of teeth grinding are not limited to dental health alone, as it can also disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and decreased overall well-being.

Understanding Night Guards

Night guards are custom-made devices designed to protect your teeth and jaw from the harmful effects of grinding. They are typically made from a durable, BPA-free material and fit snugly over your upper or lower teeth.

The purpose of a night guard is to create a cushioning barrier between the upper and lower jaws, preventing them from grinding against each other. This helps to distribute the forces exerted during grinding, reducing the impact on your teeth and jaw joints.

Night guards are available in various types, ranging from over-the-counter options to professionally-fitted custom guards. While over-the-counter night guards may provide some level of protection, custom night guards offer the best fit and comfort, ensuring optimal effectiveness.

Types of Night Guards Available

When it comes to night guards, there are various options available to cater to different needs and preferences.

The most common types include stock night guards, boil-and-bite night guards, and custom-made night guards. Stock night guards are pre-formed and ready-to-use, but they often lack a proper fit and may be uncomfortable to wear.

Boil-and-bite night guards, on the other hand, can be shaped by heating them in boiling water and then placing them over your teeth to create a customized fit. While these options are more affordable, they may not provide the same level of comfort and protection as custom-made night guards.

Custom-made night guards are fabricated by dental professionals using an impression of your teeth, ensuring a precise fit and optimal comfort. Though they may be more expensive, they offer the best long-term solution for teeth grinding.

How to Choose the Right Night Guard for You

Choosing the right night guard for your needs is essential to ensure its effectiveness and your comfort. If you opt for an over-the-counter option, consider selecting a boil-and-bite night guard that can be molded to fit your teeth more closely.

Look for a guard made from a durable, BPA-free material to ensure its longevity and safety. However, for the best fit and comfort, it's recommended to consult with a dental professional and have a custom night guard made.

A dentist or orthodontist can take an impression of your teeth and create a night guard specifically tailored to your mouth. This ensures a secure fit and maximum protection against teeth grinding. It's important to communicate any specific concerns or preferences you may have to your dental professional during the fitting process.

Using Night Guards Correctly

Once you have your night guard, it's crucial to use it correctly to get the most out of its benefits. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your dental professional or the manufacturer.

Before wearing the night guard, ensure that your teeth are clean and dry to prevent any bacteria build-up. Insert the night guard over your upper or lower teeth, depending on the type of guard you have. The guard should fit snugly but comfortably and should allow for natural jaw movement without feeling too tight or loose. If you experience any discomfort or pain while wearing the night guard, consult with your dental professional for adjustments.

Additionally, make it a habit to clean your night guard regularly using mild soap or a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to maintain its hygiene and prolong its lifespan.

Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry Can Help Alleviate TMJ

If you believe you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, seek treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry welcomes the opportunity to work with you to relieve your TMJ discomfort and to also care for your overall dental health. Consider scheduling a complimentary consultation with Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry in Fairfield, CT today.  Please call  203-255-6878  or click here to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Donald Miller specializes in general, family and cosmetic dentistry and is an active member of the Fairfield, CT community. He has practiced dentistry in Fairfield for over 25 years. Get to know Dr. Miller better by visiting our website.  You can also read Google Reviews submitted by patients for a personal recommendation.

Other popular services provided by the practice include Invisalign, Same Day Crowns, Veneers, Dental Implants, and Teeth Whitening.