October 1, 2021
Do you grind your teeth at night? This can lead to a variety of different problems, like jaw pain, frequent headaches or earaches, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), damaged teeth, and many more issues. Fortunately, there are treatments out there to help you get some relief, your dentist may suggest you get a nightguard. However, many patients feel deterred because they are a bit of an investment and opt for an over-the-counter one instead. Here’s why this isn’t the best idea.
How Does a Nightguard Work?
Most cases of bruxism can be easily treated with a nightguard while sleeping. They work by putting a barrier between the teeth. Ultimately, when you clench your jaw, the nightguard will ask as a cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This not only helps to prevent face and jaw pain when you wake up, but it also protects the enamel of your teeth from experiencing damage. When you get a custom nightguard from your dentist, this will help to align the jaw while you catch some Z’s.
What Are the Different Types of Nightguards?
Once your dentist confirms that you have bruxism, they will review the best ways to try to alleviate your symptoms, and a nightguard is a common option. But there are a few different types:
The first over-the-counter option takes a one-size-fits-all approach. These products are designed to fit most mouth types.
This type of nightguard softens when boiled, so you are able to bite into it to create a better fit for your smile.
In this case, your dentist will take a professional impression of your teeth and send it on to a laboratory where your nightguard will be made just for you. During your next dental visit, you can confirm that the guard fits as it should.
Which Option Is Best?
The different types of nightguards vary in comfort, cost, safety, and durability. While over-the-counter ones are more affordable, they aren’t made to fit your teeth perfectly, so they are ultimately less comfortable, reducing the likelihood that it will be worn. Generic nightguards don’t hold your jaw in the right position either. Over time, this can make bruxism symptoms even worse. By getting a custom-fitted nightguard from your dentist, you can experience a safer, more accurate fit that is personalized just for you.
If you’re unsure about purchasing a nightguard, talk to your dentist. By investing in a custom one from your dental provider now, you may be able to prevent worsening bruxism symptoms down the line and enjoy sleeping sounder.
About the Author
Dr. Shiloh Lindsey graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry as the valedictorian and has been working in the field for over two decades. Currently, she is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Colorado Dental Association, and Larimer Counter Dental Society. For more information on nightguards or to schedule an appointment at her officed in Ft. Collins, visit her website or call (970) 482-3166.
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