Do you wake up with sore jaws and headaches? Do you clench your teeth while sleeping or wake up with your teeth feeling sensitive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a night guard might help relieve your symptoms.
What Are Night Guards?
A night guard is a thin, custom-made oral appliance that protects the teeth from wear and damage due to grinding and clenching of the teeth. Many patients who are suffering from sleep disorders can also get relief with a customized night guard to reposition the jaw and keep the top and bottom teeth apart.
When Are Night Guards Recommended?
It’s important to wear a night guard if you have a habit of grinding your teeth at night or suffer from TMJ disorder. A night guard will protect the teeth and jaw from further damage because it prevents contact with the opposing teeth while sleeping. It can also help to reduce headaches associated with nighttime clenching and grinding.
If you experience any of these symptoms, we encourage you to call our office to receive a consultation for a custom-fit mouthguard to protect your teeth from excessive wear and tear.
It’s important to protect the teeth from damage during sleep because the body can experience heightened muscle activity that can cause the teeth to grind against one another. Clenching and grinding result in tooth fractures and wear on the teeth and can lead to increased sensitivity and even tooth loss if not attended to.
We recommend wearing a night guard if you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night. If you wake up with sore muscles and a stiff jaw, it’s an indication that you are clenching your jaw while you sleep, and you should consider addressing this issue soon.
How Does a Night Guard Work?
A night guard is made from hard acrylic or soft, flexible plastic and fits over your teeth. Our dentist will take an impression of your mouth, which will then be sent to a lab where your night guard will be fabricated. When you receive your night guard, you will return to our dental office to have your night guard fitted. Once placed in your mouth, your night guard will prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Over time, worn-down teeth can lead to tooth pain and other oral health problems, so it is important to protect your smile from the effects of nighttime grinding.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of bruxism, such as jaw pain and headaches, schedule an appointment with our dentist for an evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms. If it is determined that you are grinding your teeth at night, our cosmetic dentist may recommend a custom-fit night guard to protect your smile and restore comfort.
Custom-fit night guards are more comfortable and effective than over-the-counter night guards, as they will perfectly fit the shape of your teeth and prevent any discomfort caused by ill-fitting night guards.
For more information, contact our Alexandria dental office at (703) 823-2848 or 5130 Duke St, Suite 8, Alexandria, VA 22304, or our Manassas dental office at (703) 479-7654 or 8608 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110.