3 Reasons to Wear a Night Guard

Grand Rapids Dentists

3 Reasons to Wear a Night Guard

600 428 Precision Family Dental

dental emergency services grand rapids dentist

Have you ever woken up after a night’s sleep to feel a dull ache in your head or jaw area? You might have even ignored it the first time you awoke this way yet it continued to happen regularly.

This is not something that you should neglect as feelings and sensations of this nature could have long-term consequences for your oral health. So what is the culprit? Well, there are two primary causes and those are bruxism and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.

Both conditions are fairly common but when left untreated, can result in noticeable pain in your teeth, jaw, gums, and facial muscles. Bruxism and TMJ disorders center around teeth grinding and clenching during the night, though the effects are felt primarily the next day.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to reduce pain and prevent destructive damage to teeth: a night guard. Wearing a night guard effectively puts a barrier between your teeth so they are not able to grind and lightens the tension when you clench your jaw.

Overall, night guards help to:

  • Avoid Headaches or Facial Pain
  • Prevent Teeth Wear
  • Relieve Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Avoid Headaches or Facial Pain

As previously mentioned, consistently grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw can be painful. The aches felt can radiate from your jaw down into your neck and shoulders or manifest into a nagging headache that lasts all day.

Employing the use of a night guard into your bedtime routine can significantly reduce pain felt the next day as your top and bottom teeth are now separated. It is the separation that impedes the damaging act of grinding and clenching.

Cushioning is also given to the muscles in the jaw which helps to prevent pain there as well as in the face.

Prevent Teeth Wear

Occasionally grinding your teeth due to sudden anxiety or stress may not be problematic but the concern lies in intense, long-term bruxism. Constant pressure put on teeth can lead to loss of enamel, irritation of gums, broken teeth, or even the loss of teeth in severe cases.

If signs of wear are detected during an oral examination, our dentist may suggest that you wear a night guard while you sleep. An impression of your teeth will be taken and a custom device will be created for you in a dental lab to ensure the best fit.

At first it will feel weird when you wear it and will take some time to get used to. However, the device will ultimately give your entire mouth a break as you rest and prevent future issues.

Relieve Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Though night guards can greatly alleviate symptoms of bruxism and TMJ disorders, they also can treat mild cases of sleep apnea. When sleep apnea occurs, breathing is temporarily stopped during sleep.

Luckily, breathing resumes after a few seconds but this condition over a long period of time can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in those affected. Night guards work to keep your upper airway open throughout the night by pushing your lower jaw and tongue forward.

A durable night guard courtesy of Precision Family Dental is custom fitted for comfort and proper breathing. And bonus, it can be used for up to 10 years!

Get Fitted for a Night Guard

If you have been suffering from symptoms of bruxism, TMJ, or mild sleep apnea, the use of a night guard could help you find relief. Our general dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, is ready to sit down with you to evaluate your situation and custom fit a night guard for you.

To request an appointment, contact Precision Family Dental online or call us today at (616) 949-1570.