Are you waking up with headaches or jaw pain due to teeth grinding? Are you worried about the long-term damage being done to your teeth every night? You may need a night guard. People wear a night guard for several different reasons, the most common is to protect their teeth from wearing down due to grinding or clenching, a condition called bruxism. Other reasons to wear a night guard include the reduction of jaw pain, to stop clicking and popping of the jaw, to stop lock jaw, or to perform TMJ Therapy. Whatever your reason for wearing a night guard, consistent use of it offers five key advantages.
1. Prevent Headache and Facial Pain
A properly designed night guard will have a well adjusted and balanced bite, which tends to "shutdown" the muscles you use for chewing and allows them a night time rest. Many patients report that their facial muscles are more relaxed when they wake up. Nightguards can make a tremendous difference in the lives of people with TMD (temporomandibular disorders) as they can reduce headaches, facial pain, neck and jaw pain associated with this disorder.
2. Improve Sleep Patterns
Night guards provide maximum comfort while minimizing your symptoms, which can end up drastically improving your sleep patterns. The night guard positions your jaw in such a way that facilitates muscle relaxation, and by keeping these muscles relaxed, you can avoid the stress-filled sleep that often accompanies TMD.
3. Look Better and Save Money
This is one of the more critical benefits of wearing a night guard. The nightly unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw can lead to chipped teeth, damaged fillings, and excessive wear and tear of your teeth. Wearing a night guard can protect your smile. The tooth damage caused by nightly grinding and clenching of your teeth and jaw tends to be quite costly because 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 - likely more than getting an appliance to prevent this wear and tear.
4. Prevent of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
One way to treat excessive snoring and sleep apnea is to use dental or oral devices. These appliances are useful in correcting mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. The good news is that there are numerous options for these dental devices, and Dr. Morrison can recommend one for your particular needs.
One device that we have had a lot of success with is a mandibular advancement device. This is one of the most widely used dental appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea. It resembles a sports mouth guard in appearance. This appliance gently forces the lower jaw down and slightly forward, offering tremendous help in keeping the airway open, thereby preventing problems in breathing.
5. Prevent Teeth from Drifting - Especially For Patients With Bone Loss
Although teeth appear stationary, they are not and nightly wearing of a night guard keeps the teeth in place and will not allow them to "drift" by functioning as a kind of orthodontic retainer. For those patients who have bone loss (which can happen with older patients who have lost much of the bone supporting certain teeth, or patients with periodontal disease), the night guard acts a splint and keeps teeth from developing excessive mobility which can accelerate tooth loss.
The benefits of wearing a night guard are too great to ignore. To discuss your own oral health and find out if a mouth guard is right for you, contact
today and schedule a consultation. We can be reached at 919 755 3450 or