Our dentist may recommend wearing a night guard if you suffer from bruxism. This condition, characterized by teeth grinding and clenching, can cause significant damage. A custom-made night guard prevents this damage so that you can get a comfortable and restful night of sleep. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Robert Baker and learn more about night guards in Mesa, Arizona, contact our team at 480-461-9944.
What is a night guard?
A night guard, also known as a dental night guard or occlusal splint, is a removable dental appliance designed to protect teeth and alleviate dental issues related to grinding or clenching of the teeth during sleep. It is typically made of a thin, transparent and durable material, custom-fitted to the your teeth to a comfortable and secure fit.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism refers to a parafunctional habit characterized by the involuntary grinding, clenching or gnashing of teeth. While teeth grinding and clenching can occur at any time, these actions most commonly occur during sleep. It is estimated that about 8-10% of adults experience bruxism, and it can occur in both children and adults. Bruxism can have adverse effects on oral health, leading to dental problems such as tooth damage and TMJ disorders.
Common signs of bruxism include:
- Chronic Jaw, facial and ear pain
- A tired or tight feeling in the jaw when waking
- Frequent tension headaches and migraines
- Excessive tooth wear
- Chipped, flattened or cracked teeth
- Worn down tooth enamel, exposing the inner layers of the tooth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Indentations on the side of the tongue
When is a night guard recommended?
A night guard is recommended in cases where an individual is diagnosed with bruxism or shows signs of teeth grinding and clenching during sleep. Dentists or dental professionals may recommend a night guard if:
- Bruxism is causing excessive tooth wear: Prolonged grinding can erode the tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity and compromising the tooth structure.
- You are experiencing jaw pain or discomfort: Bruxism can put excessive strain on the jaw muscles and temporomandibular joint (TMJ), resulting in facial pain, headaches or TMJ disorders.
- You experience disrupted sleep: Teeth grinding can disturb sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue.
- You have existing dental restorations (crowns, bridges, etc.): A night guard can protect dental restorations from damage caused by bruxism.
- There is a risk of further dental problems: By wearing a night guard, you can prevent future dental complications associated with bruxism.
Make An Appointment
Consulting with our dentist is essential to determine if a night guard will be beneficial for your smile and oral health. A custom-fitted night guard is generally recommended instead of over-the-counter options, as it offers better comfort and protection. Make your appointment at Robert Baker Dentistry today to find out if a night guard is the right solution for you!