Night Guards for Long Term Dental Health

You wake up and your jaw is sore or you have a slight headache. It happens here and there. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until one day in your 50’s or 60’s you notice your teeth look shorter, a lot shorter. What happened? 

Data shows 60%+ people grind their teeth at night. Chronic teeth grinding is called Bruxism. This means for some portion of 8 hours a day you are wearing down your teeth. Not only wearing them down, but also creating stress fractures that can lead to crowns and root canals. 

Teeth grinding solution: 

One simple fix, wear a night guard when you sleep. A properly fitted night guard will help protect your teeth from the clenching and grinding. 

Of course, it’s important to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about the root cause of any teeth grinding. It is often something that comes and goes with stress and this is when we least have time/energy to get to the root of problems, so having a mouth guard for nighttime is helpful for long term tooth problem prevention. 

Who should wear a mouthguard?  

They aren’t for everyone. Sometimes night guards can cause problems if you’ve had trauma to your mouth or teeth and it is healing. And hey, maybe you don’t have much stress in your life and you don’t grind your teeth. Again, it wouldn’t be necessary. 

Problem is most people don’t know they grind their teeth because why…drumroll please…they are asleep. Our dentists can generally determine if you are a tooth grinder and help you find a mouth guard that will work best for your unique mouth. 

All mouthguards are not created equal!

Yes, they have mouth guards at the drugstore or online. Yes, they would help protect your teeth, but it’s like putting tape on your feet to protect them from rocks, glass, debris while walking on the street instead of proper fitting shoes that align with your whole body. 

Dr. Tom and Dr. Jenna will make sure your night guard is aligned and fits as close as possible to feeling natural in your mouth.  

Other solutions to teeth grinding

Since we are a holistic focused dental team, we like to ask the big questions. What else can help teeth grinding that’s natural and effective? 

One big factor is mercury in your mouth. This can lead to toxicity in your body, which activates a stress response. This is one of the many reasons that some people chose to remove mercury and why we don’t use it in our office. 

Calcium, magnesium and zinc deficiencies have been shown to lead to teeth grinding. A good calcium/magnesium supplement can help your nervous system relax as well.

Herbal teas can also help alleviate night grinding. Lavender, chamomile and valerian will not only help you sleep, but also reduce the tension held in the body which creates the clenching and grinding.  There are many teas at natural food stores, which have these relaxing herbs. Boulder’s Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra with Valerian is a favorite. 

Sleep Apnea/Snore Mouth Guards 

In addition to the night mouth guards, there are other helpful mouth guards like sleep/snore guards. These generally require a sleep study to see if this type of mouthguard would be beneficial to you. 

One mouth guard that can be recommended for the sleep apnea sufferer is the mandibular advancement device. This is one of the most widely used dental appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea. It resembles a sports mouth guard in appearance and is useful in forcing the lower jaw down and forward slightly. This offers tremendous help in keeping the airway open, thereby preventing problems in breathing. 

Athletic mouth guards

Of course, there is also the custom athletic mouth guard. We specialize in properly fitted athletic mouth guards because we know they are vital to protect sensitive teeth during sports.  There are many important reasons for your child to have a mouthguard custom fitted for his/her unique mouth, read our full post on the benefits.

We look forward to helping you prevent dental problems with any of these useful mouthguards. Set up your appointment today to see if one of these would be helpful and for a custom fitting. 

Contact us today. We look forward to helping you and your family.

Dr. Tom Zyvoloski

Dr. Zade Faraj

Dr. Thomas Fow           

818 W South Boulder Rd
Louisville, CO 80027

Call  (303) 802-4313

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