Something seems quite off lately with your sleep. When you wake in the morning, your jaw is sore and your neck may be tense. Why is that? Chances are good that you are undergoing bruxism, or clenching of the jaw while you are sleeping. Besides making for a not-so-good morning, you are putting yourself at risk for more future trouble.
If you talk with your dentist about it, they may tell you that you should use a night guard while you sleep. You wonder about it and want to wait and see if this is truly the thing for you. One distinction – this is different than a mouth guard to wear while playing sports.
So now is the time to do the research. It’s best to do that so that you can contact your dentist again with a clear focus and understanding about your decision.
Why Would I Need Night Guards?
The purpose of the night guard is to keep your upper and lower teeth from touching while sleeping. That way, you won’t clench your mouth and then you will wake up feeling much better. The mouthpiece is customized at the dentist’s office and will fit your mouth perfectly. There is a bit of an adjustment period, but if you consistently wear it, it will feel natural.
The main question people have is “Can I get by without one?” Sure. But they run the risk of cracking their teeth and causing tooth sensitivity and lead to the need for procedures like dental implants. Couple that with just waking up each day with a sore jaw. The night guard can do so much to let them have a restful night of sleep without any damage to their jaw.
Are There Other Alternatives?
While there are other things that you might consider, like occlusal splints, biofeedback, or botox, the night guards will get the best result. The Botox is supposed to relax tense jaws, the splint is supposed to ease grinding, and the biofeedback is where there is an electrode that alerts you with a vibration or sound that you are clenching your jaw.
When it comes down to it, the thing that gets the best results is the night guard. It consistently keeps your teeth apart and it can have long-term benefits. It also means that you get to stay at home and rest instead of having to regularly go to a doctor’s office to try the Botox or biofeedback. Also, it can be jarring to feel the vibrations in a deep sleep.
It Costs HOW Much?
The night guard can cost a bit of money if it is custom-made. But it often can pay for itself because you will be comfortable sleeping with it and you likely won’t have to pay for dental surgery down the road since your teeth will not be stressed and there will be no cracks in your tooth to necessitate any work. So it’s best to think about that when factoring in your decision. Another thing to think about is using the mouthguard to protect breaches while you sleep.
Yes, there are other options, like going to the pharmacy and getting one that you can boil in hot water and then bite into it when it’s still warm to have it shape to your mouth. This one is hit-and-miss though, but it’s still a better option than just buying a stock one since it won’t conform to your mouth and it can make talking and breathing harder, which will also detract from your sleep experience.
Getting a night guard can be a game changer when it comes to your teeth. Other things you can do include trying to assess what could be causing the bruxism in the first place. Are you in a stressful work environment? Are there factors like money difficulties? The tension can also be present during the day. Being mindful and making a conscious effort to relax can help a lot.
Your dentist will know best about what can work for you. Do not hesitate to talk with them about this issue. They can examine you and determine if it will be in your best interest to get one. Then you can be on the road to a relaxed jaw!
When it comes to night guards, the staff at Hagerstown Dentist are well-equipped to ensure that you get the best one for you. They will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have throughout. You can call their Hagerstown (301-200-9585) location to make an appointment. Get in touch with them today!
1303 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 200-9585