A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for our physical and mental well-being. But, for some, this restful experience can be marred by teeth grinding or clenching (a condition known as sleep bruxism). The consequences of untreated bruxism can extend beyond dental issues and have a significant impact on one’s overall health. That’s why prevention is key. Night guards can offer a simple, preventive solution that comfortably enhances your sleep without jeopardizing your oral or overall health.
Are you interested in discussing night guards, mouthguards, or other protective gear with a trusted dentist in Naperville, IL? Contact Dr. Thomas F. Brown and his team at (630) 369-3120 for more information today!
In this blog, we explore everything you need to know about night guards. You might be surprised to learn how effective a simple solution can really be!
What are Night Guards?
Night guards (sometimes called dental splints or occlusal guards) are custom-made appliances that fit over the teeth to prevent grinding and clenching during sleep. Dentists can create them from soft or hard materials, and patients can wear them on either the upper or lower arch of their teeth. As a result, night guards provide a cushioning effect to absorb the force exerted during bruxism episodes.
The Dental Benefits of Night Guards
There are plenty of benefits of night guards, including:
Dental Damage Prevention
Bruxism can apply upwards of 130 pounds of pressure on the teeth, which can cause serious damage to our chompers. Night guards act as a protective barrier, which helps significantly reduce the impact of grinding and clenching forces on the teeth.
Relief From Jaw Pain and Tension
Bruxism frequently leads to soreness and tension in the jaw, known as temporomandibular joint disorder (often shortened to TMJ or TMD). Night guards help relax the jaw muscles and alleviate discomfort, promoting better jaw alignment and minimizing tension headaches.
Aleve Tooth Sensitivity
Grinding can wear down the enamel on our teeth and expose the sensitive dentin underneath, leading to tooth sensitivity. Night guards create a barrier that reduces contact between teeth, preserving enamel and diminishing sensitivity issues.
The Overall Health Benefits of Night Guards
The benefits of a protective dental appliance reach far beyond the mouth. Here are some overall health benefits of night guards:
Enhanced Sleep Quality
Bruxism can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fragmented and poor-quality sleep. By reducing teeth grinding, night guards promote better sleep, which is crucial for overall health and cognitive function.
Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand with bruxism. Night guards help mitigate the physical effects of stress on the teeth and jaw.
Reduces the Risk of Sleep Disorders
In severe cases, untreated bruxism can contribute to the development of sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Night guards can serve as a preventive measure against the progression of sleep-disordered breathing by maintaining proper airflow during sleep.
Prevents Postural Problems
Chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching can affect facial muscles, potentially leading to postural issues and pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Night guards aid in relaxing these muscles, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal problems.
Custom-Made Night Guards in Naperville, IL
Incorporating a night guard into your sleep routine can be a game-changer for your dental and overall health. Consult Dr. Thomas F. Brown and his team in Naperville, IL, to see if these sleep appliances may be right for you. Request an appointment online or call us at (630) 369-3120 to get started now!