How a Night Guard Can Protect Teeth

Night Guards Scottsdale, AZ

Mouthguards are a common oral device used by athletes during sporting activities, yet many people do not know that a dental night guard is also available to protect teeth while sleeping. People dealing with teeth grinding (called bruxism) or suffering from sleep apnea can get customized night guards from their dentist to to relieve the condition. This article talks about how dental night guards shield teeth from the damage caused by nighttime teeth grinding.

Night guards for teeth grinding

Teeth grinding or clenching is a prevalent problem. Everyone has clenched their teeth at one point or another, whether due to frustration or anger. However, some people do it so frequently (especially at night) that it damages their teeth, causes headaches, jaw pain and temporomandibular joint disorders. During a routine dental checkup, a dentist may notice signs of teeth grinding; these signs may include flat or chipped teeth, neck or facial pain, sore jaw muscles and tooth sensitivity.

Tooth enamel is the strongest part of the body, but bruxism leaves its mark. Teeth grinding causes every tooth to deteriorate gradually over time, causing more wear and tear than normal. Patients who have dental fillings may have fillings break or dislodge due to grinding. The teeth may even break in severe cases.

What makes bruxism so worrisome is the fact that many patients do not know they have the condition. The most effective way to protect the teeth from the force of grinding and clenching is to wear a fitted night guard while asleep. The dentist customizes a night guard for the patient’s oral cavity, which makes it highly effective.

Enamel protection

The most obvious advantage of getting a night guard is that it protects tooth enamel. Depending on the extent of grinding—ranging from mild to moderate to heavy—the dentist may recommend a soft rubber mouth guard, a hybrid laminate guard with a hard outer shell and soft interior or a hard acrylic guard.

The night guard fits in between the teeth, stopping them from hitting against each other and harming the enamel. Night guards can weaken or get damaged within one to five years; when this happens, patients can simply return to the dental office for a replacement. Otherwise, damages due to grinding may require replacing teeth, which is not always a fun process.

Allowing tooth enamel to endure the recurrent grinding force of bruxism can cause enamel and dentin to deteriorate to the extent of exposing tooth pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. This will not only compromise the strength of teeth but also expose them to potential infection. Sometimes the underlying cause of teeth grinding can be hard to determine and stop, but getting a dental night guard can prevent teeth from getting damaged and help people avoid costly dental procedures.

In conclusion

The dental night guard is not only effective for protecting teeth, but it will also serve as a cushion for the jaw to alleviate muscle ache. If you think you might benefit from a custom night guard, book a consultation with the dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Sonoran Desert Dentistry at (480) 439-0117 for an appointment in our Scottsdale office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Night Guard in Scottsdale, AZ.

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