Protective Oral Care
Mouth Guards in Sherwood Park
Do you wake up with pain in the ears or face? Are your temples and shoulders sore? If this is you, a night guard may provide some relief. Only your dentist can determine whether you are experiencing bruxism, or unconscious clenching and grinding of the jaw, so we encourage you to discuss it with your dentist at your next regular checkup.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for the symptoms that result from grinding and clenching the jaw while you sleep. The human jaw has an aggressive bite force and putting great strain on the teeth night after night can result in unpleasant daytime symptoms.
Signs of bruxism include broken sleep, chronic headaches, sore jaw muscles, popping or clicking of the jaw when in use and neck pain, to name only a few. The long-term effects of this disorder on the teeth and gums is both painful and eroding of the teeth themselves, so don’t hesitate to see your dentist to discuss treatment if you have symptoms.
Night Guards for Bruxism
If your dentist determines that you are suffering from bruxism, it is likely that a nightguard will be recommended with or without medication to relax the jaw muscles during sleep. Night guards are dental appliances which are custom fit to your teeth using impressions or digital X-rays. They are transparent and typically worn on either the upper or lower dental arch at night, although patients with orthodontic appliances may require both.
How Do Night Guards Help?
Your nighttime appliance serves to restore space between the upper and lower teeth. Not only are the teeth protected from the force of bite pressure, but they are also protected from the side-to-side grinding of their ridges and valleys. Night guards significantly reduce the risk of several symptoms of clenching and grinding, including micro fracturing of the tooth’s enamel, cracks or breaks of the tooth, increased sensitivity and wearing of the teeth.
Will I Be Able to Sleep with a Night Guard?
Many patients are unaware of their teeth grinding habit until their partners complain about the sound of the grinding waking them up. Teeth grinding can be quite loud and unsettling to listen to. By investigating treatments, such as a night guard, you are offering both you and your partner an opportunity to get more restful sleep in the long term. The short-term adjustment period of wearing a night guard is typically resolved in just a few days and benefits can be felt as soon as the first night you wear it.
You may have noticed your favourite athletes sporting mouth guards while they play football or hockey, but did you know that sports guards are available to amateurs as well as pros? We offer custom sports guards to protect the teeth and jaws of the athletes we serve.
Both standard and ‘boil and bite’ guards are typically available at your local drugstore. Because standard guards are not customizable, they may be uncomfortable to wear and less effective. Although boil and bite alternatives offer more customization, it still does not compare to the level of comfort and protection that a custom guard can offer. If you are seeking maximum protection from sports related injuries, including temporomandibular joint protection and impact protection, talk to your dentist about having a custom mouth guard made.
Do I Need a Sports Guard?
Injuries to the teeth and jaw are not only painful, but they can also be costly and can have tremendous impact on the appearance of the face. If you routinely play contact sports or engage in activities in which there is risk of injury, you should consider protecting your teeth and jaw with a custom sports guard. In protecting against injury, these guards also offer protection from the risk of future loss of wages, training or education if an injury occurs and requires procedures to correct.
What if I Wear Braces?
If you wear braces and you play sports, you are at added risk of injury to the soft tissues if your mouth and jaw are involved. By their nature, traditional braces can be uncomfortable for the soft tissues if sharp brackets or wires are coming in contact with the cheek. If you wear braces and take a blow to the jaw, you can sustain significant injury to cheek and lip tissue. Your dentist is likely to recommend a sports guard for both the top and bottom dental arches to protect the soft tissues from coming in contact with the metal braces.
Cleaning & Storing Your Mouth Guards
If you are using a night guard or sports guard, always follow the cleaning instructions provided by your dentist or your dental hygienist and keep the guard reliably in its case between uses. With proper storage and care your guard will be most effective at protecting your teeth and soft tissues.
Dental Services Provided at Acacia Dental
We are a full service dental clinic in Sherwood Park, with services ranging from regular check ups & cleanings to fillings to braces & Invisalign. All services provided by a general dentist.