Night guards may be recommended by your dentist for several different dental problems. Bruxism is generally the most common reason that a night guard is recommended by your dentist. Bruxism can be defined as either grinding or clenching of your teeth. This most often occurs at night. But may occur during the day. It is a destructive habit that can cause to the teeth or the supporting bone structure as well as the jaw joint. Bruxism can wear the teeth down through the enamel and into the dentin of the tooth as well as loosen teeth or destroy the bone supporting the teeth.
A night guard can protect your smile by allowing loose teeth to become more stable to some degree. It allows the teeth to rest when the biting forces are more evenly distributed during the bite and does not allow major jaw force to be exerted on individual teeth.
We also highly recommend a night guard to those patients that have had a smile makeover with new crowns, veneers or bonding. The bite guard will assist to preserve and protect the new smile that has been created for you.
Night guards can also assist in bite adjustments. For the teeth to function in a proper manner, adjustment of the bite may be needed. A night guard also is able to assist in the bite adjustment process as well as helping maintain the final bite position.
To fabricate your night guard, your dental health professional will need to take accurate impressions and bite registrations to allow the lab to adequately make a night guard made for a particular patient. Adjustments may be needed when initially placed or after future dental treatment is needed.
When initially beginning to use a night guard a patient may notice some different things, These include but are not limited to the following;
- More saliva in your mouth.
- Speech that is temporarily slurred or distorted
- May take a little while longer to initially fall asleep
These things will generally go away rather quickly and patients will notice that their jaw and neck muscles are becoming more relaxed.
Night guards should be cleaned on a regular basis by brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste. There is no reason to store them in any special solution, however it is wise to store them in the protective box they come in to prevent accidental breakage or outside influences such as kids or dogs getting them. Bring them to your regular dental visits as then can be cleaned ultrasonically.