If you’ve been grinding or clenching your teeth at night, then you may potentially need a night guard. The top way to find out is to make a trip to your local dentist. Dr. Lomke, a dental professional can help assess this for you. At Smile Designs of Olney, we make sure that patients are on the right track to have a healthy smile and practice proper dental care maintenance. Keep reading for some crucial information that you need to know about night guards.
What Exactly IS A Night Guard?
A night guard is a dental appliance that you wear to help protect your teeth from clenching and grinding habits.. A night guard is in essence, a protective barrier that separates your top and bottom teeth. If your teeth cannot contact each other, damage to your enamel can be prevented. Night guards are also called occlusal guards or splints or bite splints.
A night guard is typically made from a plastic or acrylic material. More commonly, a night guard covers your entire top row of teeth. However, night guards can cover the lower half of the mouth as well. Night guard construction can range from hard to soft depending on the patients dental habits. We typically recommend hard night guards as evidence has shown that soft night guards can actually stimulate a clenching habit.
A misconception about night guards is that they completely stop a person from clenching and grinding their teeth. In truth, they provide a layer or cushion so that you can wear down the guard versus damaging, chipping, or cracking your teeth.
Why Wear a Night Guard?
The proper medical term for clenching and grinding is known as bruxism.. Bruxism is universal, so you aren’t alone if you experience this problem. The only way you’ll know if you have bruxism is to see a top dentist. Don’t attempt to self-diagnose.
The problem with bruxism is that it destroys your enamel and can wear down cartilage in the joints which allow your jaw to function.. If the issue is untreated, many times the damage is irreversible or can more difficult to treat. The best way to make sure you aren’t in pain is to get a customized night guard. You want to make sure that the night guard has proper alignment.. If installed by a top dentist, it won’t slip or fallout, and can last for years!
Other Things to Consider
- Bruxism can cause teeth to fracture. It happens all of the time.
- Excessive jaw clenching can last up to 40 minutes of each hour that you sleep!
- A night guard can reduce symptoms of headaches and migraines
- Drinking less caffeine, refraining from smoking, and finding ways to relax at night can reduce your grinding and clenching
Come to Smile Designs of Olney for All of Your Cosmetic Procedures
For your smile makeover or any other dental needs, come to Smile Designs of Olney! Book an appointment with us. Whether you want your teeth whitened, straightened, or restored altogether, we pride ourselves in quality patient care and giving you the smile makeover that you deserve. Our small, professional staff will make you feel right at home. We service the Montgomery County regions including Olney, Laytonsville, Brookville, Silver Spring, Rockville, Columbia, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Germantown, MD. Contact us at (301) 260-0700, visit us online, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.