A night guard refers to a mouthguard-like appliance that you wear as you sleep. You may wonder how beneficial a device like this can be. But many people suffer from behaviors or conditions that present during sleep and negatively impact their oral health. You spend a great deal of time asleep. So it is important that you receive the necessary preventative care to ensure your smile stays healthy during this period.
Your dentist can let you know details about how a night guard can help your unique smile when you schedule a dental consultation. But you can also check out these three benefits you can experience if you receive and wear a night guard from your dentist.
Treat Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Some people suffer from a condition called obstructive sleep apnea. People with this condition can experience brief cessations of breathing as they sleep because soft tissue collapses at the back of the throat to block the airway due to relaxed muscles there. Though not acutely life-threatening, the condition can lead to serious medical issues without treatment.
A doctor can offer solutions to address sleep apnea. But in mild cases, a dentist can also help patients with obstructive sleep apnea. They can provide the patient with a custom-made night guard that will keep the jaw aligned in a position to prevent the tissue collapse that blocks the airway.
The personalized construction of the night guard ensures it fits both comfortably and securely in the mouth so that it will not disrupt your sleep schedule. This allows you to comply with the treatment and see improved results related to your sleep apnea.
Relieve Chronic Jaw Pain
Does your jaw feel sore when you wake up in the morning? This can occur due to clenching or teeth grinding that may happen as you sleep without your notice. This behavior, known as bruxism, exerts pressure on the teeth that radiates to the jaw.
The excess strain on the jaw can inflame the temporomandibular joint leading to long-term jaw dysfunction thanks to a condition known as TMJ disorders. You might begin to notice stiffness and pain in the jaw that will worsen without treatment from your dentist.
A night guard will cushion the teeth against excess pressure from nighttime habits like bruxism. This will stop strain from reaching the jaw and causing irritation.
Plus, the guard can keep your jaw in a position where it can relax and release further tension in the area. And you can notice relief from chronic jaw pain.
Prevent Dental Damage from Bruxism
If you experience bruxism, regular grinding and clenching of your teeth, as you sleep, you can suffer further damage to your smile beyond your jaw. Your durable teeth might crack or chip under this abnormally high pressure that happens repeatedly each night. And extra pressure could also harm existing dental work like fillings or crowns.
This dental damage will require urgent repairs from your dentist or you might suffer additional dental issues. Save time and money on this dental work by seeking preventative care in the form of a night guard. The guard will protect against this harmful, unconscious behavior to preserve your smile.