A night guard is a flexible plastic device that is worn at night when a person sleeps to help prevent teeth from grinding and clenching. If left untreated, over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, resulting in sensitive teeth and an increased risk for tooth decay or gum disease.
In addition to wearing the night guard at bedtime, a dentist may also recommend making lifestyle changes that can help reduce the amount of stress a person experiences on a daily basis. A few of these include avoiding caffeine and alcohol, as well as cutting back on sugary snacks that are eaten throughout the day. In some cases, the dentist may recommend taking an antidepressant to help reduce stress.
Another important aspect to consider when it comes to using a night guard is the type of material used to make the appliance. Plastic is the best option because it’s durable, providing ample protection for the teeth from nighttime grinding. Furthermore, it’s comfortable enough for the wearer to be able to sleep comfortably while wearing it. The material can also be customized to fit the patient’s mouth exactly. This includes having holes in the guard so air can circulate and prevent heat retention in the oral cavity. This way, the patient doesn’t have to worry about breathing through the mouth guard, which can be uncomfortable and cause dry mouth.
When it comes to choosing a mouth guard, it’s important to talk with the dentist about the best option for your individual needs. Not all dentists offer custom-fitted mouthguards for patients, so you may need to do some research to find one in your area. However, they’re worth the investment because they provide the most comfort while ensuring that your teeth are protected from the wear and tear of tooth grinding.
If you wake up with headaches, teeth that feel sore, or jaw pain, a night guard can help! A custom-fit night guard prevents your teeth from grinding against each other while you sleep, which can prevent damage to your teeth and minimize your discomfort in the morning. Bruxism, the technical term for chronic teeth grinding and clenching of your mouth and jaw, is often caused by stress and anxiety. It can also result from sleep disorders like sleep apnea and snoring, misaligned bites, missing or damaged teeth, drug and alcohol use, and even hormonal changes due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and other health conditions. Your dentist can help you decide if a night guard is right for you.
To learn more about our dental procedures, schedule an appointment with Bergeron Dental by calling us at (907) 456-5600 or visiting our dental office located at 3112 Airport Way, Suite 2, Fairbanks, AK 99709.