Could You Do With a Night Guard? Lots of people will grind or clench their teeth at night without really being aware they are doing so. It is a problem, as it is a subconscious habit that generally occurs during sleep. Often tooth grinding or bruxism is not properly diagnosed unless
Untreated bruxism can play havoc with your teeth, as they may become chipped or cracked or will even fracture completely. It also puts stress on your gums and can lead to gum recession, and could affect your temporomandibular joints or jaw joints, causing a condition called TMD. This can be very painful, and if not treated could eventually require surgery to put right.
If you do clench or grind, or suspect you might, it’s best to get proper dental care as soon as you can before any lasting damage is done to your teeth, gums and jaw joints. Early treatment is very straightforward, as Dr. Jonathan Penchas can fit you with a custom-made night guard or splint.
What is a Custom-Made Night Guard?
A custom-made night guard is made from hard, clear acrylic and will fit precisely over your upper or lower teeth. It is constructed using impressions of your teeth that are cast up in dental plaster to provide accurate models of your mouth. Once in position it will prevent your upper and lower teeth from grinding together, so all you can do is harmlessly bite against the plastic. It is comfortable enough to wear overnight, and doesn’t restrict your breathing. Dr. Penchas will show you how to insert the device, and will want to check its condition at every appointment to make sure it still fits well and is not damaged in any way.
Your night guard is very easy to care for, as all you need to do is to rinse and brush it each day using a smear of toothpaste. You might also want to freshen it up every so often with a few drops of mouthwash. Leave it to dry naturally, and keep it away from direct heat that could warp it. If you have dogs, make sure it is kept out of reach, as it has been known for family pets to use night guards as chew toys.
Why Purchase a Custom-Made Night Guard?
It is possible to buy a ready-made night guard from your local drugstore, but this will not fit anywhere as well as one custom-made by Midtown Dentistry. Some of these night guards are ready to use straight from the packets, while others need to be softened in hot water before being adapted as best you can around your teeth. The end result is likely to be a night guard that doesn’t fit very well and which is not very comfortable to wear, especially while you’re trying to sleep.
A custom-made night guard costs more than a ready-made mouth guard, but is well worth it for the additional protection and comfort. If you have dental insurance it’s likely at least some of these costs will be covered.