Am I a Candidate for Night Guards?
By Dr. Jeffrey Harris
May 05, 2015
Category: Dental Appliances
Tags: Night Guards  

Sleep ApneaFind out if a night guard could save your teeth from constant wear and tear.

If you are dealing with any of the conditions below and don’t already have a night guard, it’s time to find out how wearing a custom-made night guard from your Warrenton dentist could protect your smile.

Sleep Apnea

Those with sleep apnea experience obstructed breathing with asleep. This can happen hundreds of times in one night and causes the person to stop breathing. Many times people don’t even know that they have sleep apnea; however, if you are a loud snorer who also notices exhaustion upon waking and daytime sluggishness then sleep apnea could be to blame.

While CPAP machines deliver oxygen to your airways and make sure to keep passages open for you to breathe properly while asleep, some patients don’t always find the relief that they are looking for. For those with milder to more moderate forms of sleep apnea, your Warrenton dentist can offer a night guard, which helps to keep your tongue forward while you sleep so it won’t obstruct your airways.

TMJ

TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition that affects how the joints or muscles of the jaws function. Certain actions can be painful and your jaw may feel sore or achy. Those with TMJ may experience headaches upon waking and also hear a popping or grating sound when they open and close their jaws. While some characteristics of TMJ and bruxism might sound similar, they are different and therefore need to be treated differently.

While TMJ can benefit from wearing a night guard at bedtime, these oral appliances are a bit different than the one you would wear for bruxism. These guards are custom-made to reposition your jaw and bite to help alleviate pain and jaw-related discomfort.

Bruxism

Also referred to as teeth grinding, this nasty little habit can be hard to control, especially if you are doing it while you’re asleep. If you grind your teeth long enough, however, your teeth will begin to wear down. This can damage enamel and make teeth more damage-prone. Therefore, if your Warrenton dentist has noticed signs of teeth grinding, then you will most likely benefit from wearing a night guard.

If you suffer from relentless teeth grinding while you sleep, or are dealing with any of these other problems, then it's time to protect your smile with a night guard. Contact your Warrenton dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Harris, to find out more about night guards and whether they are right for you.

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