Do I Need a Night Guard?

A night guard refers to a mouthguard-like device that a dentist can make on a custom basis for their patients. The appliance will fit comfortably and securely over the patient’s teeth as they sleep. While you might not realize it, you could face oral health risks while asleep.

This night guard can provide crucial preventative dental care for your smile. It will preserve your smile’s health and appearance while reducing the risk of oral health complications. Your dentist can provide you with details about the device’s role in your unique oral health needs when you schedule a dental consultation. Discover three uses of wearing a night guard while sleeping when you read on.

Do I Need a Night Guard

Manage Mild Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the soft tissue at the back of the throat may collapse as you relax during sleep. The tissue will block the airway so that you experience a brief cessation of breathing. While not acutely dangerous, untreated sleep apnea can lead to multiple medical risks.

A doctor can treat sleep apnea, but your dentist may also help you in mild cases of this disorder. They can give you a specialized night guard designed to keep the jaw aligned in a position that prevents the soft tissue collapse that disrupts respiration.

Then you can see an improvement in sleep quality and a decrease in bodily strain that might otherwise happen in sleep apnea patients. If you think you have obstructive sleep apnea, talk to your dentist about how a night guard can manage this condition.

Alleviate Chronic Jaw Discomfort

Do you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw? Oral pain is abnormal. Chronic jaw discomfort, especially if it occurs when you wake, may point to harmful oral behaviors that present in your sleep. If you grind or clench your teeth, for instance, the constant grating of the teeth against one another can radiate tension to the jaw.

Over time, jaw strain and tension will inflame muscles around the jaw joint. This could lead to the development of temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ. Untreated TMJ may result in worse jaw pain and stiffness that can disrupt your oral function.

A night guard can keep your jaw in a relaxed position while you sleep to relieve tension and TMJ symptoms. Plus, the guard can cushion your teeth against bruxism that might otherwise aggravate your jaw. A dentist can evaluate your symptoms to determine if a night guard is the best way to treat your TMJ.

Prevent Dental Damage

Chronic bruxism can hurt more than your jaw over time. Clenching and grinding your teeth unconsciously in your sleep might wear down your otherwise durable teeth. You could face a greater risk of tooth breakage or enamel damage that would make you more likely to develop cavities.

Untreated bruxism could also harm existing dental work, like fillings or crowns, in your smile. This would require urgent restorative dental treatment to fix. Avoid extra dental work by seeking preventative care. A night guard will protect your smile from the pressure of bruxism. This way, you can steer clear of this dental damage.