Night Guards? We are talking about dental night guards! They are the latest inventions of dentistry intended to relieve jaw-joint pain and other problems associated with teeth grinding. Night guards are also called mouth guards, occlusal guards, occlusal splints, bite guards, etc based on their application or use.
A night guard is a dental appliance worn during the night, to protect the wear and tear of teeth from grinding habit. It is designed to cover all the surfaces of the teeth and prevent further damage to the teeth and surrounding structures.
Involuntary teeth grinding or clenching habit during sleep, can cause enamel damage, teeth wear, jaw pain, gum irritation etc. The sounds produced from teeth grinding may even disturb your partner.
The process of grinding or clenching teeth during night, is termed bruxism. The signs and symptoms of bruxism include:
- Tooth wear: Excessive clenching or vertical forces causes the chewing surfaces and sides of the teeth to become worn out, resulting in sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. In some cases, the teeth wear out exposing the pulpal tissue, leads to severe sensitivity. In such teeth, root canal treatment with crown is recommended to relieve pain, sensitivity and restore the tooth.
- Pain and stiffness in jaw muscles: Increased muscle activity while clenching, causes pain and stiffness in the jaw muscles that lead to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
- Headaches, earaches & facial pain: The continuous clenching forces also lead to headaches, ear aches and facial pain.
- Tooth mobility: Abnormal and excessive chewing movements of the jaws during clenching may cause pain and mobility of teeth.
- Decreased facial height: Generalised tooth wear leads to decreased height in the lower third of face making bruxers look older.
Types of Night Guards
Night guards are considered to be the first-line treatment for teeth grinding or bruxism. These are usually worn at night and occasionally worn during the day, to protect your teeth against potential damage by grinding or clenching.
- Stock or Ready-made: They are available in the market in different sizes and may not fit well.
- Mouth adapted: They are adapted to the teeth or mouth, by manipulating the material after heating it, by immersing it in hot water. After heating, the softened material is placed in the mouth and bitten to adapt it to the shape of the mouth.
- Custom made: These are fabricated in the dental office after making an impression of your teeth. The custom-made night guards are comfortable and adapt well to the teeth.
- Night guards that are custom fitted are best, to help reduce the clenching and grinding during the night.
Uses of Night Guards
Night guards are used to treat or prevent the damage to tooth structure and relieve stiffness in jaw muscles. They are used to treat the following conditions:
- Bruxism: Night guards relieve the symptoms associated with bruxism, as it helps to slide upper and lower teeth instead of applying vertical pressure and grinding down.
- Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD): Night guards relieve pressure on the jaw joint, thus relieving pain and stiffness of jaw muscles.
- Prevent Trauma: Night guards are also modified for use as mouth guards, to prevent trauma to teeth and gums during contact sports.
- Deliver topical medicament: Night guards act as a medium to deliver the medicament to teeth such as desensitizing gels or teeth whitening gels .
Benefits of Night Guards
- Relieves pain & discomfort: Night guards relieve headaches and facial pain by reducing the tension between the jaw joint and the attached muscles.
- Prevents damage: Night guards prevent further tooth wear, fracture or chipping of teeth and help maintain tooth integrity.
- Inexpensive: Night guards are inexpensive preventative options to avoid the effects of teeth grinding.
- Invisible: They are clear and are barely noticeable.
- Enhances sleep patterns: Night guards promote muscle relaxation and helps to enhance sleep without discomfort.
- Prevent snoring: The custom-made night guards leave the jaws slightly open, thus ensuring unobstructed path for airway.
Why Choose Langley Dental Centre for Night Guards?
At Langley Dental Centre, we maintain quality standards during treatment. Our expert dentist carefully analyses the need for night guards to relieve long term discomfort to the patients.
Our dentists carefully assess the problem and rule out the root cause of discomfort to treat it accordingly. This makes our patients feel confident and comfortable throughout the treatment. We care about your dental health and help you meet your dental goals, with realistic solutions.
Langley Dental Centre has a calm and hygienic ambience with friendly staff which puts patients care at the heart of its service. Our dentists heed your apprehensions about dental treatments and discuss with you, the dental problems identified, the various treatment options available, the costs and the time involved.
We are currently accepting new patients and appointments for night guards and are open on weekdays, weekends and evenings too.
We accept all insurances and all major credit and debit cards. We can submit a pre-treatment plan to your dental plan administrator to obtain a pre-determination of benefits.
If you are looking for a positive dental experience in Langley BC, then Langley Dental Centre is the place to visit.