If you suffer from nightly jaw clenching, tooth grinding, a condition called bruxism or temporomandibular disorder (also called TMD), you know how uncomfortable the side effects can be. You may regularly wake up with headaches, jaw or facial pain, notice your teeth are wearing down, or experience disrupted sleep patterns. Fortunately there is a simple solution that can dramatically change your life - being fitted for a nightguard. Whatever your reason for wearing a night guard, consistent use of it offers five key advantages.
It Protects your Teeth from Wear
Although not all wear and tear on the teeth happens at night, a lot of it can. The nightly habit of unconsciously grinding and clenching your jaw can lead to chipped teeth, damaged fillings and excessive wear on the teeth. Having the protection of a thin piece of plastic covering the occlusal surfaces of your teeth is kinder to them and when plastic meets tooth, it is the plastic that tends to wear - not the tooth surface.
Alleviate Pain & Headaches
Unfortunately, there are a host of discomforts that accompany bruxism and TMD. Patients often complain of a sore or tender jaw, morning headaches, ear aches, neck pain, sensitive teeth, muscle fatigue, facial pain and spasms. A properly designed night guard will have a well adjusted, aligned and balanced bite which can "shutdown" the muscles in your jaw and allows them a night time rest. Many patients report their facial and jaw muscles are more relaxed when they wake up and that they no longer have headaches, jaw pain or other symptoms.
Keep Your Teeth in Place
Although teeth appear stationary, they are not. The nightguard functions like an orthodontic retainer and wearing it nightly will keep your teeth in place and will not allow them to "drift". This can be especially important for older patients. The night guard acts like a splint and keeps teeth that have experienced bone loss from developing excessive mobility, which can help prevent tooth loss.
Improve Your Sleep Patterns
Nightguards provide maximum comfort while minimizing your symptoms, which ends up drastically improving your sleep patterns. The nightguard positions your jaw in such a way that facilitates muscle relaxation, and by keeping these muscles relaxed, you can avoid the
that often accompanies bruxism and TMD. Interrupted or impaired sleep can wreak havoc with your mood and energy levels, and can also increase your risk of heart disease, prevent you from losing weight, and raise your blood pressure.
Money Saving in the Long-Term
The tooth damage caused by the unconscious nightly grinding and clenching of your teeth and jaw tends to be quite costly. Perhaps the greatest downside of teeth clenching is that it slowly but surely destroys your teeth over the years. When this happens, the restorative dental treatments required for both aesthetic and functional purposes are an expensive investment. Just as important, nightguards may help you have the uninterrupted, restorative sleep we need to function at our best, and maintain the best possible health.
Nightguards are comfortable, practical, and affordable - and the benefits can be immediate. Many patients report a restful night of sleep, and that their pain has disappeared, after wearing their nightguard for just one night. At
, getting your own nightguard is a simple process and typically is done with just two visits, one to create a custom mold of your teeth, and another to test the fitting. The advantages of wearing a nightguard are too great to ignore. If you think a nightguard might be right for you,
Jeff M. Morrison & Associates and start protecting your teeth today.
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