Many patients are surprised to find out how useful a night guard can be in bettering their overall dental health. A night guard is very similar to a mouthguard in that it is designed as a plastic retainer that fits securely over your teeth. Nightguards are great tools for dentists looking to help their patients with a variety of dental concerns.
Patients who grind their teeth at night will benefit from using a nightguard because the oral appliance will protect their teeth from unnecessary damage. Patients who suffer from some TMJ disorders may benefit from wearing a nightguard as the appliance reduces muscle tension and reduces pressure on the jaw joints.
Custom Nightguards in Towson, MD
Dr. Ousborne and Dr. Esterson happily provide night guards in our Towson, MD dentist office. They have seen firsthand how this conservative dental treatment can benefit many patients. From helping patients stop grinding their teeth at night to giving patients relief from their jaw pain, night guards are a multifunctional oral appliance.
We do not recommend store bought nightguards because they can actually damage your teeth. Since they are one size fits all, they can make your teeth shift out of alignment. Custom-made nightguards from a dentist are custom-made to fit perfectly over your teeth. They will protect your teeth from damage and not cause them to shift.
To get a nightguard, your dentist will first need to examine your mouth. This is to determine if it is the right treatment for you. We will take dental impressions of your teeth. A dental lab will use them to create custom-fit trays that will fit perfectly against your teeth for maximum protection. We will give you specific instructions on how to care it. The better you care for your custom night guard, the longer it will last.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding nightguards:
How do night guards help with TMJ disorders?
With TMJ disorders, the joints that you use to chew and speak are becoming inflamed due to unnecessary tension and pressure. This often occurs when a patient experiences high levels of stress and clenches their jaw together in their sleep as a response. A night guard allows your jaw to relax in a healthy position. This allows you to wake up with a fully rested and calmed jaw joint.
Will the nightguard be comfortable enough to let me sleep?
Yes, your nightguard will be comfortable. The great thing about pursuing a custom nightguard rather than over-the-counter solutions is that we will personalize your custom nightguard to your smile. This ensures a snug and secure fit that shouldn’t get in the way of you getting a good night’s rest.
Can nightguards damage teeth?
In general, they should not cause damage to teeth. However, it is important to use a nightguard properly and to follow your dentist’s instructions for its care and use. Your nightguard may cause discomfort or irritation to the gums and teeth if it does not fit properly or is not worn as directed. It is also important to clean your nightguard regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other substances that could potentially cause damage to your teeth or gums. If you experience any discomfort or irritation while wearing a nightguard, contact your dentist.
Do nightguards give you cavities?
No. It is unlikely that a nightguard would cause cavities on its own. However, if you do not care for your nightguard, or it does not fit correctly, there is a high risk of developing cavities. This is due to food and bacteria that can stick under the guard, leading to plaque buildup. Regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist will help keep your oral hygiene in check. Moreover, your dentist will recommend that you regularly clean your nightguard with toothpaste and warm water.
Can a nightguard cause sleep apnea?
Yes, a nightguard can cause sleep apnea. Studies have shown that wearing an ill-fitting night guard or one that does not properly support the upper and lower teeth can pressurize the airway, leading to breathing difficulty during sleep. The situation is worse if the patient already has existing obstructive sleep apnea. As a result, it is essential to ensure the proper fitting of the night guard when using it to prevent bruxism.
Do you need a prescription for a night guard?
No, you do not typically need a prescription for a night guard. You can purchase a night guard over the counter or online without a prescription. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist or a doctor before purchasing a night guard. They can help you find the right night guard that will fit your teeth and mouth properly.
Request a Consultation for a Nightguard in Towson, MD
Are you in need of a custom nightguard? Are you curious to know if a nightguard can resolve one or more of your dental concerns? Dr. Ousborne and Dr. Esterson have been providing comprehensive dental services for patients in the Towson area for over 40 years. We hope you will consider scheduling an appointment with our excellent dental care team today.