To get a good night’s sleep and protect their teeth, many people rely on mouth guards at night to help with mild bruxism and sleep apnea. Mouth guards are not just for sports; they are an effective tool for those struggling to get a comfortable good night’s rest and they may be something to consider if you are having night-time troubles.
How does a mouthguard enable certain people to sleep better? And how does it protect your teeth? We will be going over what nighttime mouthguards are used for and how they are effective. We at River Run Family Dentistry want to ensure that each patient gets the assistance that they need.
What Night Mouthguards Are For
As mentioned above, there are two common uses for a nighttime mouthguard, one is to help with sleep apnea, and the other is for bruxism. We will be quickly going over what these two conditions are to give you a better understanding of how a mouthguard can help people with these conditions.
Sleep apnea is a condition that is detrimental to a good night’s rest. It’s a condition that comes with snoring and waking up in the middle of the night, multiple times a night, without the user realizing this is happening. This happens due to the airways to the lungs collapsing to the point not enough air is able to get through, this leads to not only snoring, but it triggers the brain into an awake state due to it not receiving enough oxygen.
What a mouthguard can do for mild cases of sleep apnea is push the lower jaw forward to open this airway – effectively solving the issue. For many people, this has changed their lives for the better without needing a costly surgical procedure. We highly recommend looking into a custom-made mouth guard if you suspect you are struggling with sleep apnea.
Bruxism is the act of grinding and clenching teeth out of muscle memory/habit. Having bruxism does not specifically refer to nighttime teeth grinding, but it is what a mouth guard is able to help with.
Grinding your teeth can lead to problems down the road such as TMJ/TMD disorder or loosened/ fractured teeth. It isn’t too uncommon for some individuals to grind their teeth specifically at night, but for the most part control it during the day. A mouth guard is a great solution in this scenario.
However, those who frequently grind their teeth throughout the day may need to seek additional treatment or find out what makes them want to grind and clench their teeth often. For many individuals, daytime grinding comes down to stress, which is why it is important to narrow down the cause and see what steps to take from there.
Like with sleep apnea, we recommend a custom-made mouth guard, this will prevent it from popping out of place while you are sleeping – a misaligned mouth guard can be harmful to your teeth and thus it is a better idea to play it safe! At River Run Family Dentistry we want to help with your oral health needs, you can call our office at 830-387-3040 to ask any questions or schedule an appointment with us.