A night mouthguard is a mouth protector that you wear during sleep to protect the mouth against injury from teeth grinding and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Nightguards are placed over the lower or upper teeth to provide a shield for the biting surfaces and keep them from coming into contact directly. Teeth grinding and clenching lead to numerous dental problems such as wearing down of the enamel, cracking and fracturing the teeth, or even jaw misalignment. Our dental specialists at Parkside Dental design and construct customized nightguards that help protect you from the impact of grinding and clenching.
What Are Nightguards?
A nightguard is a piece of plastic that fits securely around the teeth. It is actually pretty small and is able to fit in the palm of the hand. A nightguard resembles a teeth retainer and is constructed from clear plastic, meaning it will not be visible when you wear it.
Why Should You Wear a Nightguard?
The reason you should wear a nightguard is often determined by our dentist when you check-in for a dental exam. Normally, you wear mouthguards to prevent damage to your teeth or dental work you have received. If you paid for crown placement, inlays or onlays, and other restorations, teeth grinding can easily reverse all of that work. And if you have no dental work done on your teeth, grinding can still cause chips, cracks, and enamel erosion or wear-down. As the teeth flatten due to grinding, the dentin and the nerves may be exposed, leading to sensitivity when you drink and eat.
Nighttime teeth grinding may lead to severe tooth pain and headaches in the morning. Wearing nightguards helps ease discomfort. If you wake up feeling uncomfortable or in pain, you may want to see us to determine if a nightguard can help.
Moreover, nightguards help treat TMJ symptoms. Severe grinding and jaw clenching often lead to TMJ disorder. You may notice that you have a sore jaw when you wake up in the morning. You may also have face pain, and the jaw hurts when eating. All of these could indicate TMJ dysfunction and can be resolved with a nightguard.
Constructing a Nightguard
When making a nightguard, our team begins by obtaining a mouth model or impression of the teeth and gum tissue. We use the impression to craft your nightguard, ensuring that it fits the mouth perfectly and offers comfort and superior protection.
Caring for My Nightguard
Your nightguard can last years or even decades if it is made of superior material and you take proper care of it. You need to store it safely in a hard case when not using it. It is also essential to brush the piece regularly to keep it in good shape. Cleaning a nightguard is easy. All you have to do is get a soft toothbrush, toothpaste, and warm water, then brush it to get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria. A dental solution may also help; soak your nightguard once a week. Ensure you dry it after cleaning to avoid the build-up of bacteria.
There is little that is as painful as a jaw or tooth ache, so when you notice that you clench and grind your teeth, call us at 972-442-7550 to set up an appointment or visit our dental specialists at Parkside Dental.