Dental Articles - Ajax
What is a Night Guard & Why Is It Important?
Posted by Dr. Nahida Kazi on Wed, 22 Jun 2022
Rossland Landing Dental Care - Dentist Ajax
Night guards are a type of mouth guard that is worn at night to prevent tooth wear due to repetitive clenching and grinding. Teeth clenching and teeth grinding are common sleep motion disorders that only occur at night while asleep, subconsciously.
Teeth clenching typically causes wear and indentations in the biting surfaces of the molars, and grinding causes flattening down of the biting surfaces of the front and back teeth.
Preventing Tooth Wear
Night guards are the gold standard to help reduce or eliminate the effects of teeth clenching and teeth grinding. Night guards absorb the forces of the jaws and act as a cushion to prevent tooth-on-tooth wear.
How Do You Know If You Need A Night Guard?
If you repeatedly wake up with a sore jaw or a headache, it may be due to teeth grinding or teeth clenching. For most patients, teeth grinding and clenching occur while they are asleep. Due to this, it is often a loved one or family member who notices or hears this habit while the patient is sleeping. During periods of stress, teeth grinding and clenching may also occur consciously or subconsciously.
How Are They Made?
Night guards are professionally made mouth guards that are fabricated in a dental lab. An impression will be taken of your teeth and sent to the lab, where a custom guard will be made uniquely for your teeth and mouth. Night guards can be made in various materials ranging from medium-soft to firm. They can be made for either the top or the bottom teeth, depending on what is comfortable for you and depending on the amount of teeth clenching and teeth grinding that is occurring.
Night Guard Considerations
- If you notice chipping or cracking in your night guard, it is time for a new night guard to be made because it won’t offer the same protection.
- Clean your night guard with a separate toothbrush after each use and store it in a clean mouth guard case
- It can be challenging to get used to wearing a night guard. Give it at least two weeks, and you will start getting used to it.
- Wear your night guard every night
- Bring your night guard periodically to your regular dental visits so your dentist can check the fit and make adjustments if necessary.
If you believe you may benefit from a night guard or have any questions about night guards, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.