How Does a Dental Night Guard Work?

Dental guards are used to protect the teeth and mouth from permanent damage from an array of potential factors. For example, many athletes wear dental guards when playing very contact sports, like basketball, hockey or football. This is great for protecting your teeth from impact.

However, many people wear dental guards every day in order to protect the teeth, gums, and jaw from the many dangers that happen while you sleep. Dental night guards are used to serve as a protective layer between your top and bottom teeth. In particular, a dental night guard can help protect your teeth from the harmful effects of grinding and clenching of the teeth.

Grinding and clenching can wreak a lot of havoc on your teeth and your body including, but not limited to the following symptoms:

• Wear and tear on the enamel, causing tooth sensitivity, as well as chipped and broken teeth

• Muscle spasms and joint problems in the lower jaw, known as temporomandibular joints (or TMJ)

• Migraines and headaches

• Earaches

• Teeth to become unaligned and altering the bite

• Wearing of the molar surface to allow you to chew up foods properly

• Damage to your gums, inside of the cheek or even the tongue

Dental night guards can help prevent a lot of the damage caused by teeth grinding and clenching.

When choosing a dental night guard, there are two options to consider:

Stock Night Guards

Stock night guards are one of the cheapest and most convenient options available, but not necessarily the best. They can be uncomfortable, because they are not specifically designed for your mouth and, depending on the material, can actually affect the alignment of your teeth and even make things worse.

Custom-Designed Night Guards

A custom-designed night guard involves a licensed dentist working with you to help you determine your particular needs. First, depending on the degree in which you are damaging your teeth from grinding and/or clenching your teeth, the dentist will decide whether to use dental night guards made of hard or soft plastics, or a combination of both. The softer the material, the more flexible it can be and it may be more likely to move. The best dental guard to get is one where a licensed dentist tailors the night guard to your mouth and teeth. A custom-designed night guard is made by getting an impression of your teeth. This will help ensure proper fit and help to keep the dental night guard in place.

Regardless of which option you choose, some form of protection is better than none. So, if you have to get a stock night guard for now, try it out. It’s better than no protection at all. Additionally, for the best results, consistency is key. If you are grinding your teeth together or clenching your jaw, you should be wearing a dental guard every single night. People do not always grind the same amount of time or with the same degree of pressure every night, so consistent wear is the best way to protect your teeth in the long-run.

By providing a form of protection between the top and bottom teeth, the dental night guard can protect the teeth from wearing on the enamel and act as a buffer from a lot of the damage clenching can cause. Trust us, this will save you a lot of headaches (literal and metaphorical) and money down the line by providing your teeth the protection it needs!

If you are looking for a dentist in and around Glendora, California, look no further. Dr. Sachin P. Desai, D.D.S. and his friendly staff at Glendora Family Dentistry are more than happy to help you. To find out more about the services available and request an appointment, contact us at (626) 914-0500 or request an appointment online.

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