When you think about mouthguards, does your mind automatically go to those horrible night guards people with braces used to wear? They were horrible, weren’t they? However, mouthguards have undergone an extensive renovation in the past few years. Not only are mouthguards smaller and not as invasive as those mouthguards of the past, but they also may save your teeth. Not sure how a mouthguard worn at night can help save your teeth? Let Lincoln Center Smiles give you information about night guards and how they can help your overall dental health.
Why Might I Need a Mouthguard?
People usually wear mouthguards if they suffer from a condition called bruxism. Bruxism is the name for clenching or grinding your teeth at night during sleep. A lot of people clench or grind their teeth while they sleep. Researchers that study dental care found that over 25 million people suffer from bruxism in the United States alone. A mouthguard worn at night protects your mouth from the effects of bruxism. It blocks you from clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth.
Over time, clenching or grinding your jaw may seriously damage your teeth. If you grind your teeth, you are working actively to reduce the size of your teeth. Your nerves might be exposed, which can cause you serious pain. You can damage your fillings, crowns, implants, veneers, and other dental work. If you clench your teeth, you can also fracture or break them. Whether you clench your teeth or grind your teeth doesn’t matter - they can both cause problems for your mouth. Clenching and grinding can also cause problems with your jaw joint, or temporomandibular joint. Constant clenching and grinding can make the joint, which allows your mouth to open or close, to become inflamed.
How a Mouthguard Can Help
The best way to help your teeth and jaws if you have bruxism is to wear a night guard. Each night guard is made for its owner and fits their teeth perfectly. The night guard works to equalize pressure across your jaw and protect your teeth from damage. Night guards are usually made of soft plastic. However, if you already have damage to your teeth from bruxism, we may recommend a hard plastic night guard to protect your teeth better.
We will custom make a night guard for you in our offices by taking a mold of your teeth. When your night guard is ready, we will have you come back in, so we can make sure your night guard fits. Once you get used to the night guard, you will be protecting your teeth and jaw from bruxism. If you had mouth pain before, you might find that your pain is gone. If you had jaw pain or joint pain, that should be gone as well. You might find that you sleep more soundly and have fewer headaches.
Have you noticed that your head hurts each morning when you wake up? Is your jaw hurting? Are you having tooth pain? You might need a mouthguard to wear at night. Give Lincoln Center Smiles a call at (971) 317-9499, and let us make you an appointment to talk about mouthguards.