A night guard refers to a mouthguard-like appliance that a dental patient can wear as they sleep. Some people may worry that a bulky fixture worn over the teeth will disrupt their ability to sleep. But individualized attention ensures a comfortable and secure fit that will allow you to fall asleep as you normally would.
In fact, a night guard can offer a number of oral health benefits, especially because certain behaviors might present during sleep that you cannot otherwise address due to being unconscious. Schedule a dental consultation with your local dentist to determine how a night guard will help your unique smile. And read on to learn three advantages you can experience if you receive a custom-made night guard from your dentist.
Resolve Mild Sleep Apnea
Have you ever found yourself gasping awake or waking feeling not well rested? These symptoms could point to sleep apnea, a condition in which the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes enough to collapse and briefly block your airway as you sleep. While not acutely life-threatening, untreated sleep apnea could lead to many health complications.
A doctor can treat sleep apnea, but in mild cases, your dentist can also help you. They can provide you with a specifically designed night guard that will keep your jaw aligned in such a way to prevent this soft tissue collapse when worn.
Then you can improve your quality of sleep and prevent other health issues. Learn more about how dentistry can resolve your sleep apnea by calling your dentist today.
Relieve Chronic Jaw Strain
Has your jaw been feeling stiff and sore lately? These uncomfortable symptoms can occur when you exert excess strain on your jaw. If you do not notice yourself clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, this might happen when you are not aware of it, such as during sleep.
If your jaw continues to endure this strain, the muscles around the joint will become inflamed and you may develop temporomandibular joint disorders. Your dentist can help you relieve strain on your jaw with a night guard.
When worn as you sleep, the night guard will cushion the teeth from clenching and grinding that happens while unconscious. And it therefore blocks the strain from these behaviors from spreading to your jaw. Treat TMJ before you experience worsening symptoms, like jaw dysfunction and pain.
Stop Dental Damage from Bruxism
Grinding and clenching your teeth as you sleep, a habit called bruxism, can harm more than just your jaw. Untreated bruxism will apply pressure to the teeth, which though durable, could crack, chip, or fracture under high amounts of strain.
This tooth breakage will disrupt the look of your smile and make your teeth vulnerable to further harm. So avoid this dental damage with preventative efforts, including wearing a night guard. The guard will block excess pressure from hurting your teeth as well as existing dental work such as fillings or crowns.