What Is a Nightguard?
How many of us have been affected by heavy bruxing – whether our own or that of someone in our household? Bruxing is a dental disorder where the patient grinds their teeth at night and wears them down.
Often the grinding is so loud that it is heard in adjoining rooms. Fortunately a solution is now available in the form of a night guard.
Need a Nightguard?
There are many causes of the grinding. The two most important are a problem with the bite and stress. However, everyone has some stress. So, from a treatment standpoint, the best approach is to do something about the bite.
If a minor correction can be made, then this is the first solution. But, if the bruxing is severe, and the patient has numerous symptoms – such as sore muscles, popping of the joints, frequent headaches, and wearing down of the teeth – then a night guard is indicated.
What it does is separate the teeth at night so the patient cannot grind them together. This protects the enamel, and keeps the teeth from becoming loose from the grinding forces. It also protects the tops of the teeth from becoming flat.
What Does One Look Like?
A nightguard is an intraoral device that provides a thin layer of soft or hard acrylic or plastic between your teeth. It does not always stop the bruxing completely, but will greatly reduce the wear it causes.
The nightguard can be made to fit on the upper or lower teeth, depending on the nature of the bite. And, they can be made flat, or somewhat contoured, again depending on the particular conditions of the patient's bite.
Not only does a nightguard reduce the damage to teeth, it lets others sleep comfortably as well. You may also find that as the teeth move with less effort, the headache that many bruxers complain of is often reduced.
For a complimentary examination appointment to see if you have a dental alignment problem and what treatment would be right for you, please contact us online or call 650-961-5047.
We'll answer any questions you may have, and give you a free written estimate regarding costs and insurance benefits before you leave.
©2006 Nahal Ashouri DDS MS
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