A nightguard is a removable oral appliance worn during sleep. It is primarily used to protect the teeth and jaw from the damaging effects of teeth grinding or clenching, a condition known as bruxism.
The primary purpose of a nightguard is to provide a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth. It helps cushion and redistribute the forces generated during teeth grinding or clenching, preventing excessive wear and damage to the teeth and minimizing stress on the jaw joints. Visit Brentwood Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, for the best care personalized for your requirements.
Types of Nightguards
OTC nightguards are pre-made, ready-to-wear nightguards available at pharmacies or online. They come in generic sizes and offer essential protection but may not provide the best fit or comfort.
These nightguards are custom-made by dental professionals to fit an individual's specific mouth shape and bite. The dentist takes teeth impressions, and the nightguard is fabricated in a dental laboratory based on them. Custom-fitted nightguards typically offer better comfort, fit, and protection.
The Benefits of Using a Nightguard
Protection of Teeth
Nightguards provide a physical barrier that prevents the upper and lower teeth from coming into direct contact during grinding or clenching. This helps to protect the teeth from wear, fractures, and other damage.
Alleviation of Jaw Pain and Tension
Bruxism can cause jaw pain, muscle tension, and headaches. Nightguards help to alleviate these symptoms by providing cushioning and reducing the intensity of teeth-grinding forces.
Improved Sleep Quality
Nightguards can help enhance sleep quality for individuals with bruxism. By reducing teeth-grinding noises and minimizing the discomfort associated with bruxism, sleep is less likely to be disrupted for the individual and their sleep partner.
Prevention of Tooth Sensitivity
Grinding or clenching the teeth can lead to tooth sensitivity, where you experience discomfort or pain when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. A nightguard can help alleviate tooth sensitivity by reducing the forces exerted on the teeth and protecting the enamel from further damage.
Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorder Management
Bruxism can lead to jaw pain, headaches, facial muscle tension, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. A nightguard can help alleviate these symptoms by cushioning and promoting a more relaxed jaw position during sleep.
Prevention of Gum Recession
Excessive grinding or clenching can put excessive pressure on the gums, leading to gum recession. A nightguard helps distribute the forces more evenly and reduces the stress on the gums, thus minimizing the risk of gum recession.
If you suspect you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night or experiencing symptoms of bruxism, visit the Brentwood Center for Cosmetic Dentistry at 11645 Wilshire Blvd Ste. 790, Los Angeles, CA 90025, or call (310) 312-0505. Our skilled dentist can evaluate your condition, diagnose bruxism, and recommend the most appropriate treatment, including a custom-fitted nightguard to provide the necessary protection and alleviate symptoms.