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Night Guards – What are they? Who needs them?

March 2, 2018

Filed under: Night guard,Removable Dental Appliances — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:12 am

Night guards!

Night Guards – What are they? Who needs them?

Do you need a night guard? What is a night guard?  Is a night guard the same as a mouth guard? How are night guards made?  These questions and more are answered here!

This custom made hard acrylic night guard provides many benefits!

If you clench or grind your teeth at night – or during the day – you are not alone!  You may do this and not be aware that you have this habit.  It does not always make noise.  You do not always have symptoms that you, yourself would notice.  Your dentist or dental hygienist should notice though.  You may need a night guard if you have the signs or symptoms of occlusal (the biting surfaces of the teeth) disease or soreness in the jaw muscles.  See more below for reasons why it is so very important to understand and treat occlusal disease.  If treated early the difficulty and cost of treatment is minimal!

Occlusal Splints and Night guards

There are several different kinds of night guards that we may recommend for you.  Some are shown here.  They may be made on either your upper or your lower teeth and they are very comfortable to wear once your mouth has gotten used to them.  They can be thick or thin (depending on the goal) and they will generally cover all the teeth in one arch or just the front teeth.

The signs and symptoms of occlusal disease or abnormal wear of the teeth should not be ignored! 

Abnormal wear due to occlusal disease. A night guard will not reverse this, but can prevent further destruction.

The damage to tooth structure may be painless but it will continue and probably increase over time.  The following list of information related to occlusal disease is excerpted from courses with Dr. Peter Dawson.  Dr. Dawson has taught over 30,000 dentist and technicians principles of occlusion and TMJ therapy.  The characteristics of occlusal disease are the following:

  • It is the #1 dental problem causing destructive
  • It is the #1 contributor to the loss of teeth
  • It is the #1 reason extensive dental treatment is needed
  • It is the #1 reason that people have pain in their jaw muscles and TMJ
  • It is the #1 cause of structural damage to the teeth
  • It is the #1 reason for tooth pain

If you are clenching or grinding your teeth, you may also have one or more of the following:

  • Excessive (compared to what is normal for the chewing of food) wear of the teeth
  • Pain or tenderness in the chewing muscles
  • Headaches
  • Stress – It should be noted here that clenching or grinding will not improve stress!

Please share your concerns with our office and we will let you know is a night guard would be beneficial for you!  Our office cares about you and your teeth!  Please call our office at (970) 242-3635 to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions.  We would love to have you ‘Like” us or Follow us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc/

Yours for better dental health,

       Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles