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If you grind your teeth at night, you might wake up with jaw pain, headaches, or facial tension. Teeth grinding or bruxism may not seem like a severe issue, but it can cause problems. Besides morning jaw and head pain, grinding and clenching can shorten your teeth. Thankfully, night guards can significantly reduce these effects.
The caring staff at Legacy Dentistry of Virginia understand the problems that come with bruxism. At our family dental practice, we offer advice, diagnosis, and treatment for many issues affecting teeth, gums, and jaws. Our experienced dentists and supporting staff aim to provide exceptional dental care to the entire family, including children as young as three years old.
What Are Night Guards?
Nightguards are one of the best and most common treatment options for bruxism. They are oral devices users wear mostly at night while sleeping. They generally only cover the upper or lower teeth and prevent clenching and grinding.
How Night Guards Protect Your Teeth and Jaw
Nightguards are usually custom-fitted to account for the individual’s unique bite. They provide a comfortable cushion between the upper and lower teeth while repositioning the jaw.
People usually control teeth clenching while awake, but the habit may be uncontrollable while sleeping. Because night guards create a cushion between the teeth, clenching won’t apply too much pressure on the jaw or break down tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to further damage.
Using the device can alleviate many symptoms that come with bruxism, including:
- Chronic headaches
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Facial pain
- Jaw tightness
- Ringing sounds in the ears
Night Guards vs. Mouthguards
While night guards are best for dealing with bruxism, mouthguards are similar devices people wear to protect their teeth from trauma during physical activities, like sports. They significantly reduce the risk of damage to:
Unlike night guards, mouthguards usually cover the upper teeth to protect soft tissues inside the mouth. People of nearly any age can wear them to prevent dental injury, but they are most prominent in sports like boxing, football, and soccer.
Mouthguards come in several styles. They can be custom-fitted by a dentist like night guards or a boil-and-bite guard that you can find at any drug store or sporting goods retailer. The custom-fitted style offers the best fit and comfort.
Whether you need a nightguard for bruxism or a mouthguard for sports, you can rely on the helpful team at Legacy Dentistry of Virginia to provide the best dental protection and care. Schedule your appointment today at (703) 378-5600.