Understand Night Guards: A Quick-Start Guide

Night guards prescribed by your dentist and custom-created for you are an excellent tool that can address many oral health concerns. Night guards can protect your teeth and jaws from the harmful effects of bruxism and also from sleep apnea if you have either of these conditions.

Night Guard Science

Night guards are made from high-quality material like acrylic, and when prescribed by your dentist, are custom-made to fit your mouth.

Night Guards for Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition that can lead you to grind your teeth unconsciously, often at night while asleep. Most people who have bruxism don’t realize that they grind their teeth at night unless a sleeping partner or dentist points it out to them.

This tooth grinding can cause damage to your tooth enamel in a variety of ways, causing the enamel to wear down and causing small cracks in your teeth. Over time, bruxism can lead to loose teeth and even tooth loss.

Night guards mitigate teeth grinding by distributing the force and providing cushioning. This prevents damage to the teeth. If you have a dental implant or crown, night guards can also prevent the premature failure of those dental appliances.

Night Guards for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops and starts breathing while sleeping. Usually, sleep apnea occurs when a person’s muscles relax so much that their tongue and other parts of their mouth and throat block their airway. When they stop breathing, they wake up and fall back to sleep immediately. This can cause very loud snoring.

Night guards can help prevent sleep apnea by encouraging proper jaw alignment. This leads to improved breathing, reduces snoring, and allows for a good night’s rest.

Night Guard Benefits

If you need them, there are many benefits to wearing night guards:

  • Protects the teeth. Night guards can reduce the chances of dental injury by protecting your teeth from the effects of bruxism.
  • Helps with jaw pain and headaches. Bruxism can impact your quality of life even when awake. Many people who have bruxism wake up with jaw pain and headaches. Wearing night guards can prevent jaw pain and headaches relating to bruxism, and that can leave you feeling better throughout the day.
  • Facilitates better sleep quality. People who suffer from sleep apnea wake up many times at night because they stop breathing. This leads to poor quality sleep. Wearing a night guard can improve sleep quality.
  • More energy. People who have sleep apnea often feel tired and unfocused during the day. Reducing the effects of sleep apnea can help you feel more well-rested and energized during the day.

Integration Into Your Sleep Routine

It’s important to wear your night guards consistently and to take care of them when you’re not wearing them. Clean them according to your dentist’s instructions, and put them in a case to keep them protected.

Think you might be a good candidate for night guards? Talk to your dentist in Tampa at Weninger Dentistry. We can help.