For those that suffer from night-time conditions that cause damage to teeth and other oral parts, we at Medhat Dental Excellence suggest the use of night mouthguards. Mouthguards are worn over teeth to prevent opposing teeth from making contact when sleeping. They are available in a variety of options that differ mainly in terms of price and customization.
Types of Night Mouthguards
Custom made mouthguards are the best option of mouthguard as they are professionally done to perfectly fit your bite and offer the best comfort. Our dentist sends dental impressions of your teeth to the lab where your customized mouthguard is created. Once you return after they are ready, they are tested for snugness and comfort. Correct fitting is needed to ensure that the wearer does not experience irritation or pain that can disrupt sleep. They are also trimmed around the edges to ensure no discomfort along the gumline.
The next best option is boil and bite mouthguards. They work by softening the material in hot water before biting into it to create a customized indentation of the teeth. While not as comfortable or durable as professionally custom-made options, they are more affordable and quickly made ready for use.
Stock mouthguards are another choice but tend to be least popular due to the discomfort suffered. The guard is pre-formed and it can be hard to find a good match to what are often unique occlusions. Since different people have different sizing and arrangements of teeth, these stock options cannot cater well to all. Many users suffer pain and can even experience a change in bite. The poorer material used also tends to break down easily when teeth are grinding.
Conditions That Benefit From Mouthguard Use
There are three main health conditions that can benefit greatly from the use of night mouthguards if not too severe. Teeth grinding or bruxism typically occurs when a person is asleep. The clenching of the jaw and rubbing motion can cause teeth to become worn, chip and even break. They can also cause sore gums, jaw and tooth pain. Mouthguards help provide a useful barrier between opposing teeth and encourage the jaw to remain open and relaxed.
Mild cases of sleep apnea also benefit from mouthguard use. To prevent the repeated temporary stopping of breathing, a customized night mouthguard can be used keep the lower jaw pushed outward. This mouthguard can be provided with a strap that goes around the head to keep the jaw in the desired position. It can also encourage the jaw to remain open, allowing easy airflow in and out.
Snoring is a common accompaniment to sleep apnea and is caused by the vibration of soft tissues closing in together at the back of the mouth. A night mouthguard can help prevent this collapsing in of soft tissue and allow easier passage of the air of breathing without the noise. This is achieved by keeping of the lower jaw in a forward position. When coupled with a tongue retaining device, it further opens up the back of the mouth.
If you are suffering any of these conditions and need help alleviating pain and enjoying better, uninterrupted sleep, do get in touch with our team. You can reach us, Medhat Dental Excellence at (773) 774-4611 to arrange an appointment today.