A night guard refers to a mouthguard-like appliance that you wear as you sleep as a form of preventative oral health care. The dentist can build you a custom guard that fits your unique smile and suits your specific oral health goals.
You may wonder if wearing a night guard each evening is necessary. The night guard can offer a variety of advantages to patients. You can learn how this appliance suits your smile when you schedule a consultation with your dentist. But you can also read on to discover three benefits you will notice if you wear a night guard.
Treat Mild Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea refers to a disorder in which the muscles and tissue at the back of the throat collapse and briefly block the airway for a period during sleep. Though not acutely life-threatening, the issue puts strain on the body that could heighten your risk for many medical concerns.
In mild cases, a dentist can help treat sleep apnea using a specially-made night guard. The appliance will keep the jaw in a resting position that will reduce the chances of tissue collapse as you sleep.
This treatment feels more comfortable than alternative sleep apnea solutions, which means patients tend to comply more and therefore see the wellness benefits. Preserve your health without disrupting your sleep with this type of night guard.
Relieve Chronic Jaw Pain
Have you noticed soreness in your jaw, especially in the morning when you first wake up? Oral pain of any kind is abnormal and warrants evaluation from a dentist. But jaw pain can occur as a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ.
This condition develops when pressure extends from the teeth to the jaw to inflame the muscles and tendons in the jaw joint. You could see worsening pain and dysfunction in the jaw without help from a dentist.
A dentist can treat TMJ with a night guard. This will prove especially helpful for patients who grind or clench their teeth as they sleep. The guard cushions against this unconscious behavior so that the jaw joint does not experience as much strain. Then you can find relief from this chronic jaw pain.
Preserve Your Dental Structure
Clenching and grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, poses many dangers to your oral health, including your dental structure. The constant grating of the top teeth against the bottom ones will eventually erode the outer layer of the teeth, enamel. This leaves your smile vulnerable to cavities and other dental problems.
Bruxism will also put existing dental work, like fillings, at risk. If you sustain damage to these fixtures, you will need urgent repair and replacement from your dentist to restore your smile.
You can avoid this extra dental work by protecting your teeth and dental fixtures. The night guard will preserve your smile so that this habit will not hurt your oral health.