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Stephen P. Howarth, D.M.D.

Stephen P. Howarth, JR., D.M.D.

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Do You Need a Nightguard?

Apr 3 • 3 minute read

If you frequently wake up with jaw pain and headaches, or your dentist has noticed that your teeth are unusually worn, you may be wondering if a nightguard could help alleviate your symptoms. Nightguards, also known as occlusal guards or splints, are dental appliances designed to protect your teeth and jaw from the harmful effects of teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism. Keep reading to learn some of the signs that indicate you may need a nightguard, how nightguards work, and the benefits they can offer for your oral health.

Signs You May Need a Nightguard

Symptoms of bruxism can be subtle and are often most severe when you wake up in the morning. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s important to speak to your dentist to uncover the underlying cause.

  • Teeth Grinding: If you wake up with sore jaw muscles or notice signs of wear on your teeth, such as flattening or chipping, you may be grinding your teeth at night.
  • Jaw Pain or Tension: Chronic jaw pain or tension, especially upon waking in the morning, can be a sign of bruxism.
  • Headaches: Bruxism can lead to tension headaches, particularly in the temples or behind the eyes.
  • Facial Pain: Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause pain or discomfort in the face, ears, or neck.
  • Sensitive Teeth: Excessive grinding can wear down the enamel on your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages.

How Nightguards Work

Nightguards create a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing them from coming into direct contact with each other during sleep. This helps reduce the pressure and friction that can lead to tooth wear, jaw pain, and other symptoms of bruxism. Nightguards are typically made from durable, custom-fitted materials that are comfortable to wear and easy to clean.

Benefits of Using a Nightguard

There are many benefits to wearing a nightguard, including preserving the natural structure of your teeth and bite pattern. Our team will sit down with you and discuss what to expect when you start wearing a nightguard, and the long-term results you can enjoy. Here are some of the benefits you can anticipate with our custom nightguards:

  • Protects Teeth: Nightguards help prevent damage to the teeth caused by grinding or clenching, preserving the integrity of your tooth enamel and reducing the risk of tooth fractures or breakage.
  • Reduces Jaw Pain: By cushioning the teeth and absorbing the forces generated by grinding or clenching, nightguards can alleviate jaw pain and tension associated with bruxism.
  • Prevents Headaches: Nightguards can help reduce the frequency and intensity of tension headaches caused by bruxism, providing relief from chronic pain and discomfort.
  • Improves Sleep Quality: By minimizing teeth grinding and associated symptoms, nightguards can promote better sleep quality and reduce disruptions to your sleep cycle.
  • Preserves Dental Work: If you have dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, or veneers, wearing a nightguard can help protect these investments from damage caused by bruxism.

Getting a Nightguard

If you experience any of the signs or symptoms associated with bruxism, it’s essential to consult with your dentist. Your dentist can evaluate your oral health, assess your symptoms, and determine whether a nightguard is the right solution for you. If a nightguard is recommended, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fitted appliance that provides optimal comfort and protection.

Caring for Your Nightguard

Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your nightguard. Be sure to follow our dentist’s instructions for cleaning and storing your nightguard, and avoid exposing it to excessive heat or sunlight. Regular dental check-ups will allow our dentist to monitor the condition of your nightguard and make any necessary adjustments or replacements as needed.

A Good Night’s Sleep Is Within Reach

If you experience symptoms such as teeth grinding, jaw pain, headaches, or worn-down teeth, you may benefit from using a nightguard. Nightguards provide a simple yet effective solution for protecting your teeth and jaws from the harmful effects of bruxism, improving your oral health and quality of life. Consult with our dentist to determine if a nightguard is right for you and take proactive steps to safeguard your smile for years to come.

The post Do You Need a Nightguard? first appeared on Dental Signal.

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Wallingford Station Family Dental
Drs. Howarth Sr., & Howarth Jr.
Creating Beautiful Smiles
Wallingford Dentist, Dr. Stephen Howarth is a dental professional dedicated to General, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry such as Dental Exams, Cleanings, X-rays, Fluoride, Dental Makeovers, Teeth Whitening, Veneers, Crowns, & more. Please come and visit Wallingford, PA dentist Stephen Howarth, DDS.

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