Bruxism is a common condition that involves teeth grinding and clenching, especially during sleep. This condition can be painful to your jaw and can also be destructive to your teeth over a prolonged period. Those who suffer from bruxism often experience teeth grinding while sleeping, wake up with dull headaches, suffer from jaw soreness and facial pain, and are often fatigued from a lack of deep sleep. Long-term bruxism can result in loss of enamel in teeth, broken teeth, and, in the most severe cases, tooth loss. To help prevent any of these short-term or long-term consequences, our team at Stansell Dentistry Associates provides form-fitted night mouthguards.
How Can Night Mouthguards Help?
To prevent long-term damage to your teeth due to Bruxism, most dentists suggest a nighttime mouthguard. Night mouthguards are also commonly referred to as mouthguards, night guards, dental guards, bite splints, or nocturnal bite plates. Night guards work by providing a barrier between your teeth, which helps when you clench your teeth or grind them during the night. They ease the tension in your jaw and provide a necessary cushion between your teeth. These not only help prevent facial and jaw pain, but they also protect the enamel of your teeth. You can either purchase a night guard over the counter (OTC) or get a form-fitted one from a dentist.
Types of Night Guards
While shopping around for a nocturnal bite plate, you may come across several options. Each comes with pros and cons, so it is important to consult with a dentist on which may be ideal for your specific situation. These include soft night guards, dual laminate night guards, and hard night guards.
If you are looking for the most durable night guard, a hard night guard is most suggested. Made of acrylic, they are the best for durability and must be changed less often than others. They also prevent your teeth from shifting and offer a longer warranty. However, there are a few cons that come with a hard night guard. They are often thicker than other versions, which can make them more uncomfortable to wear at first. Most people find these difficult to get used to while sleeping. They also are only offered through a dentist since they require an accurate teeth impression to fit properly. This also makes them the most expensive option.
Alternatively, soft night guards are the most comfortable and easy to adapt to for most. This is generally good for people who are just getting adjusted to wearing a nightguard. They are often the least expensive of the options offered, which means they can be easily replaced. However, they are not a long-term solution and are only good for those who only experience occasional bruxism. This is also not a good night guard for those who experience intense teeth grinding, as some people can unintentionally chew through the soft material, swallowing particles as they sleep.
Dual laminate guards are made specifically for those with severe teeth grinding. These take the best of both soft and hard night guards, soft on the inside and hard on the outside. These are known to be long-last night guards and can easily handle anyone who experiences severe clenching or grinding. The downsides to a dual laminate guard are that they are the thickest of any night guard, making them difficult to adjust to at first. However, they are usually offered over the counter or through a dentist, making them extremely versatile and can be cost-effective.
Wearing a nighttime mouthguard can take an adjustment period for anyone who is not used to having one. Routinely, it is best to put it on right before going to sleep and to make it a habit of wearing it. This may mean setting an alarm every night for the first four to six weeks to make it part of your sleeping regimen. Here at Stansell Dentistry Associates, we can help you get the thinnest and most form-fitted night guard for your teeth. Call us at 984-477-0177 to schedule an appointment.