Prosth & Co. Dental

A night guard, also known as an occlusal guard or nocturnal bite plate, is a dental appliance designed to protect the teeth and jaw during sleep. It is typically made of a durable, custom-fitted plastic material and is worn over either the upper or lower teeth.

dentist holding a dental implant

Night guards serve several purposes:

● Teeth grinding (bruxism) prevention: Many people unconsciously grind or clench their teeth during sleep, a condition known as bruxism. Night guards provide a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from coming into direct contact and minimizing the damage caused by grinding or clenching.● Tooth wear prevention: Bruxism can lead to excessive wear and damage to the tooth enamel, resulting in tooth sensitivity, fractures, and other dental problems. Night guards help to distribute the forces of grinding or clenching, reducing the risk of tooth wear and damage.● Jaw muscle relaxation: By providing a cushioning effect and reducing muscle tension, night guards can help relax the jaw muscles and alleviate discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.● TMJ pain relief: Night guards can help alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorders, such as jaw pain, headaches, and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint, by stabilizing the jaw and reducing pressure on the TMJ.

Night guards are typically recommended and custom-fabricated by a dentist based on an evaluation of the patient's dental and medical history, symptoms, and oral examination findings. While over-the-counter night guards are available, custom-fitted night guards provided by a dentist offer a better fit, comfort, and effectiveness in protecting the teeth and jaw during sleep.

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