A night guard is a simple, custom-made plastic mouthpiece worn over your teeth while you sleep. At Michael McMahon, DDS, our dentist may recommend a night guard if you clench or grind your teeth at night. This condition is known as bruxism. If you regularly suffer from headaches in the morning or notice tooth wear on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, you likely have a problem with grinding and clenching.
A custom night guard is a convenient and affordable way to address any symptoms of bruxism. Many patients who experience jaw soreness and pain benefit from a night guard. Patients who suffer from chronic headaches caused by a nighttime clenching habit are also great candidates for custom mouthguards.
How Do Night Guards Work?
A night guard cushions the jaws and teeth to reduce wear during nighttime grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism. The effects of this on tooth structures can be severe over time without a night guard in place. In addition to protecting the structure of your teeth, having a custom-crafted night guard can also reduce symptoms of TMJ disorder and tension headaches that result from bruxism.
Custom-made night guards are crafted from a cast model of your teeth to ensure a perfect fit that protects your teeth from bruxism. In addition to protecting your natural teeth, some night guards can also be crafted to include dental implants. These appliances will fit around your implants to protect them from damage as a result of bruxism as well.
Are Night Guards Necessary?
Yes, night guards are necessary for many patients, especially those who suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding at night. Grinding your teeth is a widespread problem affecting many people. Many people are unaware they grind their teeth until symptoms such as jaw pain and headaches occur.
Bruxism can cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth and can lead to serious oral health issues such as TMJ disorder over time. Many patients clench or grind their teeth while sleeping and cannot control their movements at night. However, some do practice conscious teeth grinding during the day when awake. This can occur during stressful situations or when feeling anxious.
If you suffer from bruxism or have experienced any symptoms, you must visit your dentist to determine if a night guard is right. A custom-fit night guard can help protect your teeth from the effects of clenching and grinding.
If your teeth are damaged due to grinding, visit Michael McMahon, DDS, at 3405 Kenyon Street, Suite 510, San Diego 92110, or call (619) 223-7189 to schedule a consultation today.