A night guard is a dental appliance that often are recommended for several oral health issues, the most common being if you are suffering with TMJ/TMD or Bruxism, teeth grinding.
A night guard is a dental appliance that often are recommended for several oral health issues, the most common being if you are suffering with TMJ/TMD or Bruxism, teeth grinding. Night guards are usually made in a dental office or dental laboratory and should be custom designed for your unique bite. It is a protective device for your mouth that covers your teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, gums, arches, and lips. An effective night guard is like a protective helmet for both your teeth and jaws.
The team at Burch Dental has a simple goal. That is to ensure your trust through our commitment to quality treatment and your continued satisfaction. It is our daily agenda to maintain a caring environment that is respectful and comfortable for everyone. Our team members are united in our efforts to promote oral health by means of prevention, enhancement, wellness, and rejuvenation. Call or visit one of our convenient locations today to schedule your appointment for an evaluation to determine if you or someone in your family would benefit from wearing a night guard.
A night guard is an effective method designed for preventing damage to your teeth, jaw, and overall oral health. If you experience common symptoms associated with TMJ/TMD or Bruxism such as headaches, chronic jaw pain, and a general feeling of restlessness caused by disrupted sleep, then Burch Dental may recommend a night guard as an appropriate solution for you to correct those symptoms.
The Different Types of Night Guards
- Soft Night Guard- The most common type of night guard for Bruxism and used for mild or occasional cases, but not if you are a severe teeth grinder. They are the most comfortable fit of all the night guards, the most adaptable, the easiest to get used to, and usually lower in cost. This type is not as durable, usually only has a 6-month warranty is not long-term solution.
- Dual Laminate Night Guards- This version of a night guard for Bruxism is if you are a moderately severe teeth grinder. They are soft on the inside and hard on the outside. They control heavy clenching and grinding, last longer and usually offer a longer warranty than soft guards. These are also thicker and harder to get used to.
- Hard Night Guards- Hard night guards are made from acrylic and are quite rigid but exceptionally durable. They can be used for severe cases of grinding, as well as TMJ. These are the most durable, they will prevent your teeth from shifting and offer the longest warranty. These are made from an accurate dental impression, are the thickest and are also the most uncomfortable.
Proper Fitting your Night Guard
Personalizing the fit of your night guard will vary depending on the type. It is in your best interests to allow Burch Dental to properly fit your night guard. Here are the examples of night guards:
- “One-size-fits-all”- These are over-the-counter night guards that will not be custom fitted. These will work only if you are an occasional teeth grinder.
- “Boil and bite”- You boil it in water and then bite into it to leave your own impression. It is usually simple to do and is a common type used.
- Order online- There are night guards you can order online. You need to send in your impression, and they mail back your fitted night guard.
- Custom Made- You can get custom fitted night guards directly from Burch Dental. These offer the most accurate fit because they are made with your impression in our lab.
If you suspect you may suffer from Bruxism, do not worry. It can easily be treated with night guards. It is always best to see our team to see if we can discover the root cause and address that before seeking other treatment. As an example, sleep apnea may be the underlying cause.
More On TMJ/TMD
TMJ/TMD are oral health ailments that can develop in your jaw and face that are characterized by headaches, teeth grinding or pain in the jaw. If you leave these untreated, these disorders will result in serious damage occurring in the surrounding teeth and your jawbone and can even have a negative effect on your hearing.
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) connects the temporal bones of your skull to your jaw and is responsible for your jaw moving both up and down and side to side. When this joint becomes inflamed and injured, symptoms may range from pain, headaches, numbness in the face, ringing in your ears, or a jaw that becomes locked or even difficult to open.
TMJ disorders usually fall into three categories:
- Myogenous TMJ problems: The most common type of TMD, Myogenous TMJ disorders involve muscle related pain, and the symptoms are discomfort in the temple, jaw, shoulders, or neck. These are usually treated with night guards and or BOTOX® treatment.
- Jaw joint generated pain: The pain caused by the internal derangement of TMJ, which can be the result from an injury to the condyles, a displaced disc within the TMJ, or a dislocated jaw.
- Degenerative joint disease: This is caused by other issues such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
The exact cause of TMJ/TMD is unknown, but several potential contributing factors are:
- Dislocation of the Cushioning Disc
- Genetic predisposition
More on Bruxism
Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by the clenching, gnashing, or grinding of your teeth. Bruxism can occur while you are awake or while sleeping. Bruxism commonly has related issues such as sleep apnea or snoring.
Common signs of bruxism include the following:
- Jaw Pain
- Worn Teeth
- Hearing Loss
- Fractures or Loose Teeth