Do you regularly grind and clench your teeth at night? If so, your dentist has probably recommended a night guard for you to wear to sleep. Understandably, a lot of people are bothered by the idea of wearing something in their mouth when they sleep. If you regularly grind and clench your teeth, however, a night guard is important for your oral health and can benefit your overall health as well.
Night Guards Prevent Tooth Damage
When you grind your teeth at night, you wear away the enamel on your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay and further damage as bacteria in your mouth have more places to find purchase in your teeth. If your teeth weaken too much, you can chip them by grinding and clenching. Since the night guard prevents you from grinding your teeth together, it keeps you from wearing away at the enamel and damaging your teeth.
The Night Guard Reduces Jaw Pain
If you’re clenching your jaw at night, you know how much pain you’re in the following morning. This is due to the constant motion and tension as you grind and clench. The night guard relieves this tension, allowing your jaw muscles to relax and rest, leading to less pain in the morning.
The Night Guard Reduces Headaches
Jaw pain isn’t the only thing clenching your jaw can cause. Headaches are also common for people who clench their teeth at night. This is caused by muscle tension in the jaw. It is also caused by the complex way our nerves are woven into our skulls and how our brain receives pain signals. Pain receptors in your mouth can trigger aches to manifest in other parts of your head, which is why “brain freeze” happens if you eat icy treats too fast. The night guard relieves these types of headaches the same way it relieves jaw pain, by reducing stress on the muscles, bone, and teeth.
The Night Guard Helps Promote Healthy Sleeping Patterns
Activities like clenching and grinding your teeth generally follow other sleep-interrupting patterns. In some cases, you may be grinding or clenching in response to interrupted sleep – clenching is common for those who suffer from sleep apnea. Other times, the grinding and clenching can interrupt sleep and cause disrupted patterns, especially if you wake fully or partially due to pain.
Whether you have sleep apnea, or your clenching and grinding are interrupting your sleep, your night guard will give you relief. Reducing the grinding and stress will help you sleep better. For those who suffer from sleep apnea, preventing grinding and clenching will help you keep airways in your nose and throat open for proper breathing at night.
Yes, your night guard can benefit your sleep apnea alongside other treatments and help reduce snoring as well.
Are You Looking for Cosmetic Dentistry in Philadelphia?
If you are in Bucks County and considering night guards or any other dental needs, contact us today to make an appointment.