Night Guards, Snore Guards, and Sports Mouth Guards

Many patients suffer from grinding or clenching their teeth at night, and a lot of them are not aware that they are doing so. This can cause excessive damage to your natural teeth, fillings and crown and bridge work.

A simple oral exam can show the trauma caused by nocturnal bruxism. These examples include wear facets on the chewing surfaces of teeth and restorations.  Another example is tooth abfractions, which is the loss of tooth tissue (enamel) along the gum line, which makes the tooth more susceptible to decay. It will also make the teeth more sensitive to hot and cold food and drink.

Some patients also crack teeth by clenching and grinding. Another symptom of bruxism is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) which affects the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and surrounding muscles. The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to the skull. These symptoms present themselves as tenderness below your ear, headaches, and neck problems.

The solution to prevent bruxism is to fabricate a night guard which is a simple procedure of taking impressions of your teeth and have a dental lab make a custom guard for you to wear at night. The night guard prevents your posterior teeth from touching which prevents grinding and clenching.

Snore Guards

A snore guard is an appliance worn at night that prevents snoring and sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the soft tissue obstructs the airway making it difficult to breathe properly. When you can’t breathe, your brain signals you to wake up, and this can occur multiple, even hundreds of times during the night. This condition is known as sleep apnea.

The appliance is worn to move the lower jaw forward which helps keep the airway open giving you a better night’s sleep. We make the snore guard by taking impressions of your teeth and a bite impression with your lower jaw in a forward position. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab where they make a custom snore guard for you. We will adjust the guard for your comfort.

Sports Mouth Guard

Sports mouth guards are used by many athletes in most contact sports to prevent tooth loss and damage. Think hockey, football, and basketball. Many weightlifters also wear them to stop clenching.

These custom sports guards are made in the dental office after taking impressions of your teeth. They are superior to the “boil and bite” guards you purchase at a sporting goods store as they are custom made for you.

As you can see, there is a common theme with these guards noted here. PREVENTION!

At Dixon and Dixon, we can help you get a good night’s rest if you’re dealing with the symptoms of sleep apnea or protect your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism with a custom oral appliance. Contact your Ft. Lauderdale dentist today for more information.