Do you think you may be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep or has someone told you to consider a nightguard? Do you wonder what a nightguard is and if wearing one could help you? Understandably, many people are skeptical about them and question if they really need one.
As your trusted dental professionals, we’re her to help you understand the uses and benefits of nightguards in order to help you decide if one is right for you. It is always our recommendation that you come in and see us in person for an opinion so that we can determine your individual needs.
What are nightguards?
A nightguard is a device placed in the mouth on top of the teeth to help with grinding and clenching. Grinding is used to describe the moving of the jaw back and forth, while clenching described as biting down with pressure for an extended period of time. These guards acts as a protective layer between your top and bottom teeth.
Other common names for these devices are occlusal guards, occlusal splints, or bite splints. Usually, the guard is made of plastic and is placed over some or all of the upper or lower teeth. In most cases, guards cover only your upper teeth. But sometimes, if you wear braces or have another dental appliance, a dentist can make a guard for your lower teeth as well.
Nightguards re-establish the natural space between your teeth and protect them from grinding or clenching together. This helps to prevent chipping and cracking of your teeth and reduces the strain to your jaw muscles. These devices don’t stop clenching or grinding but act as a cushion. They also allow your jaw to relax and can help improve the quality of your sleep.
How will a nightguard help you?
Regularly wearing a nightguard can help you:
- Improve your sleep quality
- Prevent more costly and painful procedures such as root canals
- Reduce headaches
- Stop jaw pain
- Prevent cosmetic damage to your teeth, dentures, restorations, crowns