Do you need a Dental Night Guard?
Posted by: Jodie Blades Diploma Level 3 in Dental Nursing
Medically reviewed by: Dr Shan Lam BDS (Bris)
With busy lives, it's understandable that traditional oral hygiene routines can fly out of the window.
Do you find yourself waking up with a painful jaw, a migraine, or toothache? You may have a case of bruxism and may need a dental night guard. Bruxism is a medical condition that causes you to grind, gnash, or clench your teeth unconsciously during sleep. When this happens, you may need the help of a dental night guard. A dental night guard is a soft dental tool inserted inside the mouth and worn throughout the night to help prevent teeth grinding, and stop the negative effects it can have on your oral health.
Related: 5 signs of a gum problem
How Bad is Teeth Grinding?
Often, teeth grinding is considered as a minor inconvenience (usually more so to the person you sleep next to) more than an oral health issue. Though very common, dental professionals still wouldn’t consider teeth grinding on a regular basis ideal for your oral health. Extreme cases of bruxism can lead to serious dental issues.
Though quite rare, consistent teeth grinding can lead to bone loss around the roots of your teeth, receding gums, jaw joint disorders, frequent headaches, tooth cracking and even tooth loss. Because of these dental injuries, it’s important to recognise whether or not you do suffer from teeth grinding, and how bad it is. This is so that you can address the problem quickly and prevent the need to go to an emergency dentist.
Teeth Grinding Symptoms
Since teeth grinding occurs mostly during your sleep, you may be unaware that you have a problem, or be unaware of the severity of it, and this may cause you to ignore the problem, and not seek help. However, there are symptoms to look out for that may indicate you experience bruxism. These include:
- Sensitive teeth
- Tooth pain and /or tenderness when biting
- Tooth shaped indents on your tongue
- Cheek tissue damage
- Jaw tenderness
- An aching face
- Temporal Headaches
If you suffer from any of these symptoms and you suspect that you’re grinding your teeth at night, you need to go to the dentist so they can examine your jaw and mouth, and suggest treatments like dental night guards to address the problem.
Custom Dental Night Guards
If your dentist diagnoses you with bruxism, they will recommend custom-made night guards for you to wear when you sleep. Not unlike an athletic mouth guard, dental night guards prevent further tooth damage caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding. These custom dental guards are fitted to your unique bite and can be made from different materials such as vinyl, acrylic, or light-cured composite. A custom-fit dental guard is effective preventive care, so your teeth won’t chip and crack, and your jaw muscles won’t experience undue stress.
Night guards for Snoring!
Snoring can cause detrimental effects to both you and your partner. The lack of quality sleep can lead to impaired concentration, productivity and happiness.
Dr Shan Lam special interest in helping patients who grind their teeth, as well as those who suffer from snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea.
Related: Do snoring splints work?
Protect your teeth with a custom-fit night guard
Holland Park Dental Centre makes custom night guards that will fit your bite, so you can have better sleep and can protect your tooth tissue from wear, your muscles from tension and your jaw bone from damage. We start by taking a digital scan or dental impressions of your teeth, which is then sent to a specialist sleep laboratory to make the latest innovation in dental night guards.
This allows us to create a custom fit unique to your teeth and save them and your muscles from the effects of teeth grinding. Book a consultation with Dr Shan Lam today.
Book a consultation