Should I Get a Night Guard?

A night guard refers to a mouthguard-like appliance custom made to fit your unique smile. You wear this device over your teeth as you sleep as a form of preventative oral health care. Because of the individualized nature of this appliance, you can see unique advantages to your specific dental needs.

But who actually needs a night guard? You can feel confident pursuing this treatment when you understand the benefits it can provide for your smile. Read on to find three of the many reasons that wearing a night guard can improve your oral health.

Should I Get a Night Guard

Treat Mild Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep to create blockage in the airway resulting in a brief cessation of breathing. While not acutely life-threatening, untreated sleep apnea can put strain on the body that may result in cognitive decline and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Your doctor can help you treat sleep apnea, but a dentist also has expertise in the airway and can treat mild cases with a special night guard. The guard will align the jaw in your sleep in such a way that will prevent tissue blockage in the airway. Then you can breathe without disruption, improving your sleep quality and stopping the extra stress throughout your body.

And with the custom design of your night guard, you can look forward to a comfortable and secure fit that will not interrupt your ability to fall asleep. You will also not have to worry about the device slipping out of place during the night.

Relieve Jaw Pain

High levels of stress or bite problems might mean you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, also called bruxism. Many people do not realize they grate their teeth against each other, an action that generates pressure on the teeth that can spread down to the jaw.

The resulting tension in the jaw can inflame the muscles in the joint there, which will lead to soreness and pain that may become chronic if the behavior continues. Then the patient might develop temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ, which will make it hard to eat, speak, and perform oral functions without disruption.

A night guard will cushion the teeth against the pressure of bruxism. Then your jaw will not feel this extra tension, and you can find relief from pain and other discomforts associated with TMJ. Learn more by calling your dentist for an evaluation.

Protect Your Dental Structure

Pressure from teeth grinding can cause a number of dental complications. But untreated bruxism can also impact the look and feel of your smile. The constant grating may push your teeth out of their straight alignment.

You can feel self-conscious about the appearance of crooked teeth. But wearing a night guard can ensure your smile remains straight. The guard will also prevent grinding and clenching from wearing down your teeth and making them chip, crack, or break. Find preventative dentistry and more when you contact your dentist today.