Dental Night Guards
Dental night guards are coverings that protect the teeth of individuals with certain habits or ailments that exert a negative impact on their teeth. At Cypress Family Dental, we are happy to offer the residents of Johns Island, South Carolina and nearby areas a solution for issues that may damage the teeth and require a dental night guard.
Bruxism is a relatively common condition that involves the repeated clenching or grinding of teeth, especially during the evening or while sleeping. Bruxism can be caused by anxiety, tension, or stress; it may also be the result of chewing motions in the sleep. Individuals who smoke, drink alcohol excessively, or consume caffeine prior to bedtime are more prone to bruxism. Snorers and those with sleep apnea suffer with higher-than-normal rates of bruxism, as well.
Individuals who grind their teeth while sleeping can experience symptoms such as tightness in the jaw muscles, facial pain, facial swelling, and tooth pain. As the condition progresses, potentially significant damage can occur in the jaw and teeth, which may necessitate dental or medical intervention.
Oral care professionals recommend dental night guards as a means of either stopping the grinding or preventing the risk of tooth or jaw injury. There are several types of guards from which to choose. The two most common are stock mouth protectors and boil and bite protectors. These products can be purchased at many drug stores or sporting goods stores and provide contact injury protection. They may also be effective in addressing mild cases of bruxism. That said, many dental professionals do not recommend these over-the-counter options because they could cause side effects such as breathing difficulties and an increased susceptibility to damage.
Custom-Fitted Dental Night Guards
Dentists typically recommend that patients with bruxism wear a custom-fitted product. Created in a dental laboratory using special materials and designed for a custom fit, these are far superior to standard store-bought products. To have a custom night guard created, your dentist will obtain an impression of your teeth, mouth, and jawline so that a custom device can be created.
Caring for A Dental Night Guard
Custom-fitted dental night guards require a significant degree of care. For long-lasting use, the products must be washed frequently in cool water and soap, cannot be exposed to warmth of any kind, and must be examined routinely. The slightest tear or hole could render the structure ineffective. As a rule, oral care professionals recommend having the guard examined by one’s dentist during each visit.
Individuals diagnosed with bruxism or those who believe they may suffer from the condition are encouraged to contact our office to schedule an appointment. Our team of professional dentists can offer a thorough examination and determine if a custom-fitted dental night guard is the most appropriate therapeutic protocol for you.