We all want to protect our teeth and be comfortable. However, clenching and grinding can put our teeth and comfort at risk even when we are sleeping. A night guard can protect our teeth and relieve jaw discomfort. What is a night guard? What does it do? How is it made? How can you know if a night guard is right for you?
What is a night guard?
A night guard is a small dental appliance that fits over the teeth. Night guards are usually made of plastic or acrylic. As the name suggests, they are worn only at night.
What does a night guard do?
A night guard protects the teeth and jaw muscles from stress caused by clenching or grinding. Left untreated, clenching and grinding can cause the following conditions:
- Worn teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Sore jaw muscles
A night guard prevents a person from clenching and grinding their teeth while they sleep. This protects the teeth from damage and prevents strain of the jaw muscles.
How are night guards made?
At a dental office, the dentist will take precise measurements of your teeth. The dentist or a dental lab technician will use these measurements to make a night guard that is custom-fit for you. When your night guard is ready, you will return to the dental office, and the dentist will make any final adjustments to ensure your night guard fits well and is comfortable.
How will I know if a night guard is right for me?
Many people who clench or grind their teeth in their sleep are unaware of it. During a professional dental exam, a dentist will check the teeth and jaw for early signs of clenching and grinding. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw.
You may benefit from a night guard if you experience any of the following:
- Worn or chipped teeth
- Sore jaw muscles or headaches, especially upon waking up
- A friend or family member reporting that you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep
If you experience any of the above conditions, ask your dentist if a night guard may be right for you. You can schedule an appointment by calling us or by stopping by our South Attleboro office.