If you don't see a dentist regularly, you could have dental issues that go unnoticed. If you often suffer from teeth and jaw pain when you wake up in the morning or have unexplained sensitivity when eating certain foods, it could be because you have an issue with clenching or grinding your teeth while sleeping at night. Either of these issues can lead to many dental problems if left untreated. Thankfully, there is a simple solution that your dentist can prescribe to correct the issue and save your teeth, a night guard.
What Are Night Guards?
A mouthguard is a type of dental application or device that dentists prescribe to correct dental issues or to protect the teeth from damage in particular situations.
Dentists prescribe different types of mouthguards depending on different situations. Bite guards, for instance, are used to protect the teeth and correct a bite-related issue and are typically worn during the day. Sports guards are another type of mouthguard that a dentist may prescribe. They generally protect the teeth of kids and adults who engage in athletic sports that require physical contact with one another.
Night guards are similar in that they are a type of mouth guard; however, night guards are specifically designed to alleviate a problem while you sleep. Stress and other factors cause people to clench and grind their teeth at night, leading to pain and other issues. A night guard is made to relieve the pressure on the teeth caused by clenching and grinding.
How Do I Know if I Need a Night Guard?
If you go in for a checkup and your dentist notices signs that your teeth are being ground down or have begun to fracture, this is a clear sign that you have a problem with clenching and grinding. You may also notice soreness in the jaw or an inability to open and close your mouth correctly. These can be signs as well.
If this is the case, your dentist will likely prescribe a night guard for you. If you notice some of the signs, you may always request one yourself even if there isn’t any visible damage to your teeth; you may still have a problem that just hasn’t reached a severe stage, so don’t be afraid to talk with your dentist if you notice any unusual symptoms.