A night guard refers to a custom-made oral appliance that you wear over your teeth as you sleep. The individualized make of the device ensures a comfortable and secure fit that will not disrupt your sleep schedule by feeling awkward. But why would your dentist ask you to wear this overnight in the first place?
A night guard can bring many preventative dental benefits that will help you avoid serious dental damage. Your dentist can fine-tune the appliance to suit your unique oral health goals.
You can feel more confident pursuing this type of dental treatment when you understand the many benefits it can provide. Read on to learn three reasons your dentist might suggest wearing a night guard as you sleep.
Treat Mild Sleep Apnea
Many people may develop a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. This can cause brief cessations in breathing as you sleep as the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses. While not an acute danger, untreated sleep apnea may lead to cognitive problems and strain on the body that can put you at serious risk of heart attacks and other concerns.
Your doctor can help you treat sleep apnea, but mild cases can benefit from treatments from your dentist with a night guard. This appliance will keep the jaw aligned during sleep to prevent tissue collapse that will block the airway.
Then you can see improvements in your sleep quality and prevent major health problems. Learn if a night guard can aid your specific case of sleep apnea by talking to your dentist today.
Stop a Teeth-Grinding Habit
Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, is a common habit that often stems from high stress levels. Many people do not realize they grate their teeth together, exerting high pressure on the teeth that can spread to the jaw. Then you can see an increased risk of jaw problems like TMJ disorders or even tooth breakage.
Patients who grind their teeth as they sleep may need intervention from a dentist to stop this behavior. The dentist will recommend that these patients wear a night guard. This can cushion the teeth against the grinding so that they will not see damage or strain from this behavior.
Preserve Your Smile
A night guard can help a dental patient preserve their oral health in many ways. But it can also protect the look and feel of your smile from other types of dental damage.
For instance, untreated bruxism can impact the appearance of your smile, pushing teeth out of their straight position or creating cracks or chips in the teeth. Avoid the need for extra dental work by preventing this damage. A night guard will ensure your teeth do not become crooked or irregular by inhibiting this harmful habit.
Learn more by visiting your general and preventative dentist. They can offer additional oral health care that will keep your smile healthy as well as beautiful.