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Teeth grinding is one of the most common reasons people seek treatment at our office. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to severe medical conditions such as TMJ disorder, headaches, jaw pain, and tooth loss.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat teeth grinding without undergoing surgery or other invasive procedures. One of these treatments is using a nightguard. A night guard will help protect your teeth from potential damage caused by teeth grinding.

Nightguards as a Treatment for Bruxism

A nightguard is an easy, non-invasive treatment option that helps prevent the harmful effects of bruxism, such as jaw pain, neck pain, muscle pain, facial pain, or broken teeth. It acts as a barrier between your upper teeth and lower teeth, preventing them from rubbing together and damaging each other. Tooth grinding is a common condition that occurs when you grind or clench your teeth while sleeping. This causes tooth wear and may eventually cause your teeth to break down. The root cause of bruxism is still unclear, but it is often linked to abnormal bites, stress, and anxiety.

A nightguard is a dental appliance that fits into your mouth like a retainer. You simply place it between your upper and lower front teeth while sleeping to protect your tooth enamel from damage caused by teeth grinding. A nightguard also helps reduce the stress placed on your jaw muscles, reducing pain associated with teeth grinding.

Basic Types of Nightguards

Hard Nightguards vs. Soft Nightguards

Hard nightguards are made of acrylic material and are usually used for patients with severe bruxism.

Soft nightguards are made of rubber material and are often recommended for patients with mild bruxism. They are more comfortable than hard nightguards since they are made from a soft material.

Over-the-Counter vs. Custom Nightguards

Over-the-counter nightguards or pre-made nightguards are available at drug stores and grocery stores. OTC nightguards are not custom-fit and therefore do not provide the same protection as a custom-fitted guard.

Custom-made nightguards are made specifically for your individual needs and fit comfortably in your mouth. Our dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send these to our lab where we create a replica of your teeth. We then use this exact model to make your custom-fitted nightguard.

How Can Nightguards Benefit You?

Prevent Tooth Damage

Teeth grinding can be extremely painful and can result in broken teeth, chipped enamel, and even tooth loss if left untreated. By wearing a nightguard, you’re protecting your teeth from being damaged as it prevents your teeth from rubbing against each other.

Prevent Chronic Headaches

The constant pressure put on your head by your teeth grinding can cause headaches. A nightguard protects your head from excessive pressure and allows your jaw joints to move freely without causing any additional pressure on your head.

Prevent Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) is a condition that affects your jaw joints and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed due to overuse. Wearing a nightguard reduces the amount of stress placed on the joint, easing any tension you can cause on the muscles.

It helps Relieve Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea, is a condition that causes your airways to close off during sleep. As a result, you may wake up gasping for breath. If left untreated, this condition can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and memory loss. By wearing a nightguard, it keeps your airway open and prevents your tongue from blocking your throat.

Learn More About Custom-Fitted Nightguards

If you are one of the people who grind their teeth at night, you should consider getting a custom-fitted dental guard to protect your teeth during sleep and keep them healthy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about custom-fitted nightguards.