People might wear a night guard for a number of different reasons, the most common is to protect their teeth from wearing down due to grinding or clenching, a condition called bruxism. Other reasons to wear a night guard include the reduction of jaw pain, to stop clicking and popping of the jaw, to stop lock jaw, or to perform TMJ therapy. Whatever your reason for wearing a night guard, consistent use of it offers six key advantages.
1. Less Tension and Less Pain
Night guards are comfortable, practical, and lightweight. Your dentist will design your night guard specifically for your teeth in a way that reduces the stress placed on your jaw joints and muscles. This effectively reduces wear and tear and ensures that your teeth are protected.
2. Headache Prevention
Headaches are just one of the many discomforts that come with TMD (temporomandibular disorders). Night guards make a tremendous difference when it comes to these everyday aches and pains. Many people are surprised that after using their night guard consistently they experience fewer or no temporal headaches or associated neck pain.
3. Prevention of Tooth Damage
This is one of the more critical benefits of wearing a night guard. The nightly unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw can lead to chipped teeth, damaged fillings, and excessive wear of the teeth and of the enamel. Wearing a night guard will safeguard your comfort and the quality of your smile.
4. Improved Sleep Patterns
Night guards provide maximum comfort while minimizing your symptoms, which ends up drastically improving your sleep patterns. The night guard positions your jaw in such a way that facilitates muscle relaxation, and by keeping these muscles relaxed, you can avoid the stress-filled sleep that often accompanies TMD.
5. Money Saving in the Long-Term
The tooth damage caused by the unconscious nightly grinding and clenching of your teeth and jaw tends to be quite costly. Perhaps the greatest downside of teeth clenching is that it slowly but surely destroys your teeth over the years. When this happens, the restorative dental treatments required for both aesthetic and functional purposes are an expensive investment.
6. Prevention of Snoring
Likely the least of your troubles associated with your grinding and clenching, snoring can still pose an issue for both you and your significant other or sleeping partner. Because your night guard will be designed to create a small space between the jaws, it will increase your air intake and effectively allow you to breathe better.
Getting set up with your own night guard is a pretty simple process and typically is done with just two visits, one to create the mold and another to test the fitting. The advantages of wearing a night guard are too great to ignore. If you think a night guard might be right for you, contact your dentist at your earliest convenience and start protecting your teeth today.