Maybe you should tuck in your teeth at night
An occlusal guard (also known as night guard) worn at night is a simple solution for anyone who grinds their teeth in their sleep. The exact reason this grinding occurs, a common phenomenon, is unknown, but researchers believe stress and anxiety play a role. Other causes could be linked to an abnormal bite, sleep apnea, snoring, smoking or alcohol use.
Grinding and clenching (bruxing) can lead to wearing down of the teeth, headaches, jaw or facial pain and fatigue. Patients with dental implants are often encouraged to wear them to protect the implants and their accompanying restorations.
Occlusal guards separate the teeth and provide cushion; they can also put the jaw in a more neutral position, reducing potential jaw pain issues. Guards made to reduce snoring or mild sleep apnea change the position of the jaw slightly to open the airways. While a CPAP device is still recommended for moderate to severe sleep apnea, many of our patients have found relief using a snore guard device.
Getting used to wearing these devices can take several weeks. One tip: Insert the guard just before you fall to sleep.
The types of occlusal guards and the materials they are made of vary, as do their costs. Whether you should wear one or not should be determined with the help of your dentist. Whether you have all your natural teeth or have invested in cosmetic restorations, an occlusal guard may be an inexpensive way to protect your smile.
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035