Different Ways of Using Night Guards in Dentistry
Of the many oral appliances used in dentistry, how many times do you hear people talk of night guards in Calgary, AB? Although they are not novel, few people understand the relevance of night guards in dental health. This shows how little credit dentists in SW Calgary get for the kind of work they do.
What Are Night Guards?
They are dental appliances used in dentistry as mouth protectors. They are customized and tailored to individual mouths, catering to different dental needs. Usually, night guards are versatile in their ability to treat more than one dental issue. Primarily, the role of night guards is to put a barrier between your upper and lower jaw. In that, a dentist near you can treat different health issues.
There is a close similarity between conventional mouthguards and night guards. One main difference is that night guards need to be worn even at night as you sleep, while traditional mouthguards mostly serve you during the day.
When Are Night Guards Used?
When you visit a dentist’s office near you, you will not be aware of your need for night guards. It is only after a dental exam and diagnosis that your dentist will determine your need for these mouth protectors. An important fact to note is that night guards are most effective when there are customized for your particular needs. Some of the areas where night guards are effective in dentistry are:
- For bruxism – it is a term used to describe excessive teeth grinding. The condition causes various dental issues including, dentin hypersensitivity, enamel thinning, crack and breaks on teeth, jaw pain, to mention a few. Teeth grinding is common among children, who make a habit out of it and have a hard time abandoning it when they grow older. Besides, when night guards are used to preventing teeth grinding, they also protect your bite.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) – is a dental condition that causes a dysfunction of the connective joint that links your jawbone to your skull. Any problems with this joint can cause various health problems, including pain when chewing, jaw lock, migraine headaches, ear pain, to mention a few. A dysfunctional TMD results in derailed function of the oral cavity, sometimes meriting urgent dental care.
- Sleep apnea – is a sleeping disorder that causes difficulty breathing or loss of thereof when you sleep. Although it is a sleeping disorder, it is a condition that can be detected, diagnosed, and treated by a dentist. The condition affects patients differently, hence requiring varied treatments. Only obstructive sleep apnea is treatable using night guards. As a treatment, a night guard will push your lower jaw forward in a way to keep your airway open. This will allow for better breathability when you sleep.
- Snoring – although snoring is mostly a consequence of sleep apnea, it is a problem that can be treated individually. Usually, snoring happens because of the vibrations happening on the soft tissue in your upper airway. Therefore, a mouth protector tailored for you will work similarly to the case of sleep apnea treatment to pull your lower jaw forward to keep the upper airway open when you sleep.
Important Things You Should Know About Night Guards
Once your dentist prescribes night guards, you must wear them as you should if you want to notice any improvements in your health. Some facts about night guards you should know are:
- Cleaning them is paramount – the device is getting in and out of your mouth. Its exposure to bacteria is, therefore, very high and is why you must keep them clean.
- A custom-fit is worth the investment – although you can get night guards over-the-counter or from an online vendor, a custom fit by your dentist is always better. Besides, how will you know that the night guard is treating the underlying health problem unless it is prescribed by your dentist?
- Carry your night guards when you visit your dentist. Routine dental exams are to monitor your oral health. Bringing your night guard allows your dentist to check their status and determine whether they are getting the job done as intended.