A night guard is a custom-designed mouthpiece that protects your teeth from grinding and clenching at night while you sleep. Typically, patients who grind or clench their teeth do so involuntarily while sleeping. This usually occurs due to stress or anxiety. It can also happen because of misaligned teeth, bite issues, and certain medications.
This custom-fitted mouthpiece is made to be worn on the top row of the teeth to prevent them from grinding against the lower teeth. At the Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we provide dental night guards that also protect the mouth's soft tissues from being worn away. In addition to protecting against tooth damage, our night guard can alleviate jaw pain and other common TMJ disorder symptoms.
How Do Night Guards Work?
A custom-fitted mouth guard holds your jaw and teeth in place as you sleep so they won’t shift out of position and cause pain or discomfort. They are made from an acrylic material and fit tightly against your teeth, so you can barely notice them during the night.
Custom-fitted night guards may be recommended for you to wear if you grind your teeth at night regularly or have an abnormal bite that causes you to grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. Since they are customized to fit your unique smile, they are much more effective at preventing grinding than store-bought options. However, you must keep them from being chewed on by pets or children during the day.
Over time, wearing the night guard regularly can help train your muscles to relax, reducing your chances of experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding in the future. If you develop any dental issues because of teeth grinding, our dentist can also help you treat those issues. For example, if you have a cracked tooth from clenching, your dentist may recommend veneers to repair it.
The Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard
They help prevent tooth movement. While teeth naturally shift over time as we age, this shift can be accelerated by clenching or grinding your teeth at night. A night guard will prevent this from happening and protect the integrity of your teeth as you sleep.
They help with sleep apnea symptoms. A night guard could also benefit you if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. It can help keep your airways open throughout the night so that you can breathe more quickly as you rest.
They have benefits for your oral health in general. Wearing a night guard helps protect your gums from injury and recession and protects your teeth from the harmful effects of nighttime teeth grinding.
To learn more about how a custom night guard could benefit you, visit the Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of the Woodlands at 1733 Woodstead Ct Suite 204, Woodlands, TX 77380, or call (281) 367-5256. We will discuss all treatment options in full detail, so you feel confident in your dental health decisions!