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How Do I Know If I Need a Dental Night Guard?

A good night’s sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being, but for some people, nighttime teeth grinding—also known as bruxism—can lead to dental problems and restless nights. If you find yourself waking up with a sore jaw or you’re experiencing frequent headaches, it might be time to consider a dental night guard. Keep reading for more information!

What Is a Dental Night Guard?

A dental night guard is a custom-made oral appliance that fits over your teeth, acting as a protective barrier between your upper and lower jaw bones. It’s primarily designed to prevent the damaging effects of teeth grinding or jaw clenching during the night, but it can be used to treat several oral health concerns. Dental night guards are typically made of durable and comfortable material molded to fit your teeth perfectly.

Preventing Dental Damage

One main reason for wearing a dental night guard is to prevent bruxism-related damage. Grinding or clenching your teeth can lead to excessive wear, cracks, fractures—even tooth loss. Wearing a dental night guard provides a cushioning effect that reduces pressure and protects your teeth from excessive force; it acts as a barrier, absorbing the impact and distributing it evenly to minimize the damage.

Alleviating Jaw Pain and Headaches

Teeth grinding can lead to TMJ, as it constantly strains your jaw muscles and can cause significant jaw pain, headaches, and even neck and shoulder pain. A dental night guard helps alleviate the pressure on your jaw joints and muscles by providing a more balanced bite and reducing muscle tension. This can help with jaw pain or headaches you experience during the day. 

Enhancing Sleep Quality

Teeth grinding and clenching can disrupt your sleep pattern, leading to a restless night’s sleep. The noise made by grinding may even disturb your partner! Wearing a dental night guard can help reduce the impact and noise associated with teeth grinding, helping to improve the quality of your sleep for both you and your partner.

Investing in Your Oral Health

A dental night guard is an investment in your long-term oral health. By protecting your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding or clenching, you can prevent costly dental procedures in the future, like fillings, crowns, or dental implants. The upfront cost of a dental night guard is minor compared to the potential expenses of repairing damaged teeth.If you’ve been experiencing jaw pain, headaches, or complaints from your partner about the sound of your teeth grinding, it might be time to get a dental night guard. Get in touch with LeCroy Dental today for a stress-free check-up and to discuss your options!