What is Night Guard Therapy?
A number of patients tend to grind or clench their teeth at night while they sleep or even throughout the day. This common habit, also known as bruxism, can lead to a number of oral effects, including a wearing down or flattening of tooth surfaces, oral pain, headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, and other uncomfortable concerns. At ACE Dental of Hewitt, our general dentists are pleased to offer custom-made night guards for teeth grinding to help protect oral structures against damage caused by bruxism. Night guards are fabricated from high-grade materials and are worn comfortably over the top or bottom teeth during sleep. If you or a family member may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, please visit our Hewitt, TX team to learn how a night guard might work to preserve your oral health and comfort.
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Who should get a night guard?
A custom-made dental guard may be an important aspect of protecting your teeth, jaw joints, gums, and additional dental structures. You may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night if you have:
- Chipped or worn teeth
- Loose or broken restorations
- Tightness or pain in the jaw
- Tenderness or swelling in the face
- Morning headaches
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum recession
While bruxism commonly results from stress or anxiety, the condition may also be associated with misaligned teeth, an uneven bite, TMJ dysfunction, or a sleep disorder. Our ACE Dental of Hewitt team will try to identify factors contributing to your teeth grinding or clenching habit to provide the most effective possible treatment outcomes for your oral health.
How is a night guard made?
We will begin the night guard process by taking digital dental impressions of your upper and lower arches. Our team will then forward these images, along with specific directions on fabricating a custom night guard for your teeth, to a special dental lab. Your appliance will be made of a top-grade material and sent to our Hewitt, TX office. After it arrives, we will schedule you to come in for a fitting with one of our dentists. Along with making minor adjustments to your guard to ensure a precise fit, our team will also explain how to wear and care for your bruxism appliance.
How do you care for your Bruxism Appliance?
To best protect your oral health, you will need to wear your night guard whenever you sleep. This custom appliance will keep your top and bottom teeth from rubbing together, helping to preserve your tooth structures while reducing tension on your jaw and TMJ. Night guard therapy may be paired with palliative care or other treatment remedies to protect your oral health and improve your comfort in the most effective way. You can help keep your mouth and bruxism appliance in optimal condition by cleaning your night guard thoroughly after every use. We recommend that you bring your guard with you to routine check-up visits at ACE Dental of Hewitt so our dentists can make certain it continues to meet your needs.
What do night guards cost?
A portion of a night guard appliance may be covered under certain dental insurance plans. If you carry insurance, we will get in touch with your provider and help maximize any benefits you have. While there may still be some out-of-pocket costs, ACE Dental of Hewitt is dedicated to making your care as affordable as possible. Please talk with our team about the convenient payment options accepted at our practice.
Night Guards FAQ
Why are night guards primarily used?
Night guards are generally used when a person has bruxism (teeth grinding at night) to protect their teeth and prevent headaches, tooth pain, wear and tear on the teeth, and more. We may also be suggested them for an individual with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction to help with their jaw pain.
How do I know if I need an upper or lower guard?
Typically, we suggest mouth guards for the upper jaw of our patients. These guards won't interfere with the tongue or lower jaw. However, if you have dental restorations on your bottom jaw, we might suggest lower guards.
How long will my night guard last?
Typically, night guards last around five years, but it really depends on the material they're made out of. Properly caring for your night guard is also important when helping it last longer. We urge you to bring it to your dental exams and cleanings so we can help it last as long as possible as well.
Protect your teeth from Bruxism
Find relief from TMJ pain and other bruxism effects with a custom night guard from ACE Dental of Hewitt. These high-quality dental appliances are worn comfortably in the mouth at night and can help protect your oral health from damage due to chronic teeth grinding or clenching. If you or a loved one may be grinding your teeth while you sleep, please set up a visit at our Hewitt, TX, practice to learn more about the benefits of night guard therapy.