If you grind and clench your teeth you may suffer from a serious dental disorder. Thanks to custom night guards, you can protect your smile. Downtown Dental Studio’s team of expert dentists can help you get the night guard that’s right for you.
How do night guards work?
Night guards are custom-made coverings that protect your teeth from clenching by providing a protective shield around your teeth. The night guard creates space to relieve tension in your jaw, and it also protects enamel. Night guards are commonly used to treat a disorder known as bruxism, as well as temporomandibular joint disorder.
A common condition for which night guards are useful is bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that causes you to grind your teeth at night. This usually occurs unconsciously as you sleep. There are several reasons why you may have this order, some of them include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Sleep apnea
- Another underlying medical condition
- Overbite or underbite
Bruxism can cause significant damage to your oral health. In the earlier stages, it can lead to cracked teeth, jaw pain, tooth loss. Tooth grinding can wear down enamel, causing your teeth to become weaker. If you grind your molars excessively, you may cause them to smooth out to a flat surface. This makes chewing much more difficult.
If bruxism is left untreated, more symptoms can develop such as headaches, jaw pain, loose teeth, tooth fractures, and hearing loss.
If bruxism is left untreated, you may develop the condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Prolonged stress on your jaw creates intense pain, as well as clicking sounds when you move your jaw, and locked jaw. You may also experience pain in the muscles that support your jaw and other parts of your skull.
The force you exert when you clench your teeth can even cause your gums to recede. When this happens, your teeth become more sensitive to temperature, and you may even experience permanent tooth loss. At this stage you would require surgery to repair your gums.
During athletic activity
Apart from protecting your teeth from the symptoms of a dental disorder, we often recommend night guards to protect your mouth if you engage in high contact sports.
Types of night guards
Night guards can be used by people of all ages. There are night guards you can purchase from a sporting goods store that you can use during athletic activity, but we don’t recommend them. Without a custom fit, these night guards are big and bulky, and they can prohibit your ability to speak and breathe.
If you visit one of our dentists at Downtown Dental Studio, we can provide you a more effective custom night guard that is best suited to your grinding problem. We provide four different kinds of custom night guards.
Soft night guards
Soft night guards are made of a durable rubber material. They’re the most commonly recommended custom night guard. We use them to treat mild cases of bruxism.
Dual laminate night guards
These night guards contain a soft inner layer and a hard outer layer. They’re more durable and are often prescribed if you have a moderate-to-severe case of bruxism.
Hard night guards
As you can expect, hard night guards are the most durable. They’re made of a rigid acrylic, which creates the most resistance against clenching teeth. These night guards are especially designed for severe cases of bruxism and TMJ.
Sports night guards
We also make night guards designed for athletic activity. The shape and texture of the night guard depends on the sport.
Depending on your condition, we can provide a custom night guard that protects your upper teeth, or your upper and lower teeth. A good night guard should be durable, comfortable, and doesn’t prohibit your ability to speak or breathe. If you experience problems with your night guard, you can always return to our office for an adjustment.
Don’t let your tooth clenching harm your dental health. To receive a consultation from Downtown Dental, call our office, or book an appointment online.