Custom Dental Night Guards and Teeth Grinding
Do you grind and clench your teeth at night? Perhaps you wake up with facial pain or have suffered tooth damage from too much grinding. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is caused by stress in adults, so it can be hard to cure. However, there is a way to prevent and treat the symptoms. A custom dental night guard made by your dentist can make all the difference.
Why You Should Wear a Night Guard
If you grind your teeth at night, you should really consider wearing a dental night guard. The main two reasons are that custom night guards can protect your enamel and provide a cushion for jaw muscles.
Protect Your Enamel
A dental night guard provides a layer between your upper and lower teeth to prevent them from grinding together and eroding your tooth enamel. Remember, enamel protects your teeth from decay and cannot be replaced!
Long-term untreated bruxism has the power to erode your teeth through both the enamel and the layer underneath called dentin. This layer protects the cluster of nerves and blood vessels at the heart of the tooth. Long-term bruxism can lead structurally weak teeth, plenty of pain and possible removal of the tooth in the worst case. You may also need a dental crown due to teeth grinding damage.
Protect Your Jaw Muscles
If you wake up every morning with pain around your cheeks and jaw, you most likely grind or clench your teeth at night. Jaw muscles are very strong, exerting a force up to 1,300 Newtons, so they can cause some serious damage. Wearing a dental night guard can cushion the upper and lower teeth, protecting the jaw muscles from extreme tension.
Save Money in the Long Run
Bruxism will cause damage to your teeth and jaw in the long run. Simply wearing a dental night guard every night can help to prevent the destruction of your teeth and the potential thousands of dollars in dental care that you’ll spend as a result.
How Are Night Guards Different from Mouth Guards?
Night guards differ from sports mouthguards in many ways, such as shape, material and function. They both serve to protect your teeth, but they do so differently. For example, a night guard protects the surfaces from wearing down due to grinding and clenching. A sports mouthguard protects the teeth and mouth in the case of a sudden, hard impact. A night guard may be made out of a durable, hard acrylic plastic whereas a sports guard will be made of softer material that can act as a shock absorber. In addition, a sports guard covers your teeth and gums, not just the occlusal surface of your teeth.
How Are Custom Night Guards Made?
Custom dental night guards are usually the most effective due to how they are made. The process is precise and offers patients a customised fit with comfort and function.
First, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth so that a plaster cast can be created from it. This cast or mould is sent to a dental laboratory to make the custom night guard. The material is then shaped around the mould to form a well-fitted protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. The guard can be fitted for your upper or lower teeth.
Once made, the mould is used to check how it fits and how the bite comes together. Adjustments are made as necessary. Once the lab is sure it’s perfect, they’ll deliver it to you with instructions for wear and care. Make sure the guard fits well and that it’s comfortable. It should be stable in the arch, it shouldn’t move and it shouldn’t press on any part of the mouth, causing discomfort or pain.
Talk to the expert dentists at Randwick Dental Care in Sydney to discuss teeth clenching and grinding. Treat your bruxism with the help of custom-made dental night guards! Call us on 02 9199 8901 to book an appointment.