Night guards are a type of mouthguard that people wear while they are sleeping. The most common reason why people choose to wear night guards is bruxism, or teeth grinding. However, night guards are used for a variety of reasons, such as medical conditions and sleep quality. There are also several different types of nightguard that you can wear. The most effective type is a custom-fitted nightguard, which we can provide here at Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates.
Reasons Why People Wear Night guards
There are many people that suffer from a condition called bruxism. This causes the individual to grind their teeth together at night and there are many reasons why it occurs. For instance, stress, age, personality, medication or other substance use, genetics, and other medical conditions can all lead to bruxism. Bruxism affects more than just the teeth and can cause jaw pain, poor sleep quality, headaches, and many other symptoms.
Night guards can all be used to improve sleep quality among our patients. Many people have a form of sleep apnea or breathing trouble during sleep in general. Whatever the case, these conditions are often caused by misalignment of the jaw causing the throat muscles to tense up. Night guards are able to shift your jaw back into place to prevent breathing trouble and other symptoms, such as snoring. You will also notice yourself sleeping more soundly throughout the night and having less interruptions while you sleep.
Types of Night guards
People can wear either soft or hard night guards while they sleep. Soft night guards are recommended for more minor cases, since people tend to chew or grind these during sleep as well. These are the least expensive and easiest to adapt to, though. Hard night guards are a bit harder to adapt to, though they do offer more protection than soft night guards. These are generally more expensive and are used to treat more severe cases of bruxism or sleep apnea.
In addition to the material used, soft night guards can be bought over-the-counter as stock or boil and bite mouthguards. Stock night guards are the cheapest and are very generic, so they will not fit specifically to your teeth. Boil and bite night guards are a bit more customized as you mold them to your teeth after heating them up in water.
However, the best option for treating bruxism and other sleep issues is a custom-fitted nightguard. These are hard night guards that are molded specifically to your teeth. These are more expensive than other types of night guards, but they are also the most effective treatment.
The first step in custom-fitting is getting a dental impression. This impression is used by our dental lab to make a mold of your teeth, which they can then fit the nightguard to. Once the nightguard is complete, they will send it to our office and you will receive a call from us to schedule a fitting. Though these are custom-fitted, we may still need to make alterations from time to time. It is a good idea to bring these in for your routine appointments so we can check their condition. For more information about night guards, contact Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates at 725-257-2220 now.