There’s a whole host of different dental devices that can help you with oral health problems. Night guards are one such device but you should be aware that they’ve been designed to help with a particular set of problems. Not everyone should get a night guard though, on the other hand, many people should. In this brief guide, we’ll explain what a night guard is, some of the signs that show if you should get one, and what some alternate treatment options are.
What Is A Night Guard?
Night guards are devices that are placed over the teeth in order to stop them from coming into contact with each other at night. This reduces pressure on the teeth and stops teeth from grinding. The guards can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies or they can be custom-made by your dentist. Over-the-counter night guards are less effective because they aren’t fitted to your mouth. They are either one-size-fits-all (the least effective option) or boil-and-bite night guards (more effective than one-size-fits-all, but not as effective as fitted guards). Fitted night guards involve your dentist taking an impression of your mouth and then creating a night guard based on that impression. A professional Winnipeg dentist can do this for you and it’s the most effective but more expensive option.
Do You Need A Night Guard?
There are a number of signs that a night guard might be helpful to you. Those who are waking up with headaches, pain in their jaws and teeth, or general facial soreness may be in need of a night guard. Should someone tell you that they hear you grinding your teeth at night, a night guard might be a good option. There are some circumstances in which temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) can be helped by a night guard. You might have a TMD if you experience difficulty opening and closing your mouth accompanied by pain in the area that connects your jawbone to your skull (located near the ear).
The best way of knowing whether or not a night guard is right for you is to talk to your dentist as they’ll be able to look for signs of wear and tear and help you assess whether or not your teeth are getting ground down at night.
What Night Guards Aren’t For
Night guards aren’t for tackling sleep apnea, a condition that is often accompanied by teeth grinding. Special oral devices can be created in order to relieve sleep apnea and there are a wide variety of techniques to help with the illness. Night guards are also not protective mouth guards; you shouldn’t be using them while playing contact sports. Night guards should only be used to relieve teeth grinding, also called bruxism. You should talk with your dentist to find out whether or not a night guard is right for you.