5 Benefits of a Mouth Guard

Many people with trouble sleeping rarely consider that their teeth may be to blame. Tension in your jaw overnight can rob you of restful sleep and cause headaches and other issues that you may be completely unaware of.

West End Dental, is Washington, DC’s premier practice where Lauren Izadi, DDS, and Edward Kim, DDS, are devoted to caring for the smiles of your entire family. That includes your jaw health and the diagnosis and treatment of nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism).

If you have bruxism or a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, you may benefit from a custom-fitted mouth guard. This dental device covers and protects your teeth.

Wearing a mouth guard at night protects your dental and overall health in many ways. Here are some of the top benefits of nighttime mouth guards. 

#1: Protects teeth from damage

Teeth grinding is incredibly common, and stress and anxiety often trigger the nighttime habit. However, an abnormal bite, crooked teeth, and sleep apnea can also cause bruxism. Because it occurs during sleep so you can’t control it, it’s important to talk to a dentist if you suspect that you may grind your teeth at night.

Your dentist can create a custom mouth guard to prevent your teeth from making contact at night. This protects your teeth from wear and tear. Teeth grinding wears down teeth, and may cause cracks or tooth loss. Grinding also loosens preexisting fillings, causing complications for previously restored teeth. 

#2: Eases jaw tension

Clenching your jaw while sleeping is outside of your control, and it places added stress and tension on an important joints in your jaw called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Wearing a dental guard at night eases stress on your TMJs. The guard sits comfortably in your mouth and reduces the stress on your jaw muscles. 

#3: Prevents headaches

If you’re plagued by unexplained headaches, clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth during sleep are a potential cause. Headaches, jaw aches, neck pain, and jaw muscle fatigue are common in people with teeth grinding. If this is the cause of your headaches, a mouth guard may be a simple, effective solution.

Nighttime teeth grinding does more than damage your teeth and trigger headaches, but also disrupts your sleep. Unknowingly grinding your teeth while sleeping interrupts healthy sleep patterns, preventing you from getting a good night of restful sleep. As a result, you may feel unrefreshed during the day and may experience daytime fatigue.

#4: Reduces snoring

If your sleep partner mentions that you snore, a custom mouth guard may be the answer to quieting loud nighttime breathing. Clenching your jaw prevents proper breathing, commonly resulting in snoring. Because a mouth guard aligns your jaw and relieves tension, it helps to restore natural airflow, preventing snoring.

#5: Lowers future dental costs

Damage and complications from grinding your teeth are costly down the road. Getting dental fillings, replacing lost teeth, and other treatments to address damage from teeth grinding add up over time. Custom mouth guards are a simple, cost-effective solution that can save you money down the road. 

Protect your dental health with a custom night guard so that your teeth remain strong and healthy for a lifetime. If you notice signs of bruxism, contact our office to schedule an evaluation with one of our top-quality providers. 

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