Did you know that your dentist can help you with more than just a cleaning every six months? Yes, they can help you prevent and treat cavities and other oral problems, but they can also help you in other ways to promote your oral and overall health. One major example is night guards. This little oral appliance, which is custom made through your dentist, can make a huge difference in your quality of life. With a night guard you may have fewer headaches or get better sleep. Do you need to consider talking to your dentist about a night guard? Check out these two reasons why you may want to.
Especially while you sleep, you may unknowingly grind or clench your teeth, which is commonly referred to as bruxism. Doing this can lead to unnecessary pressure on your teeth and jaw, causing a bunch of problems, such as the following:
- Excessive wear on the tooth enamel.
- Chipping or cracking in the teeth.
- Flattening the surfaces of your teeth.
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Tooth pain.
- Dull headaches starting from the temples.
- Sleep disruption.
- Pain that feels like an earache.
How can you stop doing something you don’t really have control over? A night guard provided through your dentist provides a cushion to separate your teeth and stop their grinding, protecting them for the long term.
Prevent TMJ Disorder
Oral appliances can help more than just your teeth. When the jaws are misaligned, even just slightly, you can experience jaw pain either in the muscles that control the jaw or in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) itself. Located just in front of both ears, the TMJ is responsible for aligning your upper and lower jaws and teeth correctly. If misaligned, this little joint can cause more than a little problem.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder:
- Clicking or popping sounds during jaw movement.
- Pain at the joint.
- Aching in or around your ear.
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing.
- Facial pain.
- Locking in the jaw or difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
By talking with your dentist about your symptoms, they should be able to fit you for an oral appliance that can help reestablish proper alignment for your jaws and teeth. As a result, you should not only avoid jaw pain but also get a better night’s sleep.
In the end, you can make a big difference in your oral and overall health by taking the small step of talking to your dentist about a night guard. Correcting jaw alignment or preventing bruxism, the night guard is an underutilized tool that can change your quality of life both during the day and night. For more information about night guards and to determine whether you need one, consult your dentist.
About the Practice
Island City Dental proudly has two talented, experienced dentists to serve patients in the For Lauderdale area. Dr. Robert Smith opened the practice in 1986 and has patients who have seen him for more than two decades. Dr. Hasan Yap completed a three-year prosthodontics residency and has obtained his certification in prosthodontics. To contact them and schedule an appointment, you can call (954) 564-7121 or click here.