Minneapolis & Minnetonka, MN
Do you wake up with headaches or teeth or jaw pain? If so, you should visit our dental office for an examination. You may need a nightguard. We can provide you with one designed to improve your oral health and even your sleep quality. At Holger Dental Group, we provide superior level care and will use the latest in dental technology to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be. Fitting patients with a night guard is often part of that process.
What are night guards?
These small pieces of plastic are designed to fit securely around your teeth. They are quite small and can fit in the palm of your hand. Typically, they are made of clear plastic, so they will not stand out when you wear them. This is excellent news for those self-conscious about appearance but who want to save their teeth. To see what one looks like, visit our dentist’s office.
Do I need to wear a night guard?
If you are grinding your teeth at night – yes, you do. At Holger Dental Group, we believe in the value of preventative care, and night guards are one of the ways we can prevent you from damaging your teeth. Since you only get one set of permanent teeth, it is unwise to allow them to be ground down. The discomfort you will suffer and the cost to repair your teeth are not worth skipping out on this easy, preventative measure. We know that not all of our patients enjoy the idea of wearing a guard, and we will not recommend doing so unless we are certain that it will be useful in solving your problems.
Why do most people wear a night guard?
The exact reason you need one will be determined during your dental exam. Typically, they are worn to:
- Prevent damage. If you have paid to repair your teeth or have had cosmetic work done to improve your appearance, teeth grinding could reverse all that work. Even if your teeth have never needed repair, grinding can cause your teeth to chip, crack, or wear down. This translates into direct discomfort as the teeth flatten, and your dentin or nerves could become exposed. This can lead to feelings of sensitivity when you eat or drink. If this type of damage continues, you could end with gum recession and even loose teeth. If you use a night guard, your upper and lower teeth will be unable to grind against each other, and the potential damage will be avoided.
- Ease discomfort: Nighttime teeth grinding can cause severe headaches and tooth pain in the morning. If you are regularly waking up in pain or feeling uncomfortable, this can be a sign that you need to wear a guard while sleeping. At Holger Dental Group, we have found that many of our patients feel significantly better after wearing their guard for just a few days. The key is to continue wearing it every night. While some grinding is caused by stress or tension, there is no way to tell exactly what causes people to grind their teeth or stop the body from attempting it. This is why continued use of the guard is necessary.
- Treating TMJ: Severe grinding or jaw clenching can lead to TMJ disorder. This can be incredibly uncomfortable, typically starting as a sore jaw in the morning with the occasional headache. If you experience these symptoms or have face pain, neck pain, or your jaw hurts while eating, call us to schedule an appointment with our office right away. You must treat TMJ early by wearing a night guard and preventing your teeth from clenching or grinding in your sleep. Otherwise, TMJ can become severe. At this stage, some people find it difficult to even open their mouths, let alone eat or speak normally.
Are they comfortable to wear?
We have a dental lab that creates custom nightguards that match your measurements and exact specifications. The material we use is durable yet comfortable enough to wear at night without interrupting your sleep.
Can night guards help with sleep apnea?
There are oral appliances that are used to treat sleep apnea. This is different from a standard night guard. However, we can provide you with more information when you visit our dentist’s office.
How long will my night guard last?
If you take good care of your night guard, there is no reason that it should stop working. That is if you buy one made of strong material. The type of guard you can buy in the store is not designed to last forever and will typically give up after six months to a year. A dentist-made night guard can last for years, sometimes even decades. At Holger Dental Group, we also recommend storing it in a safe place. We will give you a hard case, and that is the ideal place to keep it. Most patients put their night guards in a case and keep them in their nightstand drawer. Out of the way, it is unlikely to get lost or taken by a child or pet. If you travel a lot, you may want to have two created to keep one at home and one in your carry-on bag.
What should I do to take care of my night guard?
Another way to keep your guard in good shape is to brush it regularly. Cleaning it is relatively easy. All you need to do is brush it with a soft toothbrush, toothpaste, and lukewarm water. This should remove the plaque that has been built upon it. Additionally, you can try a special dental solution and soak it once per week. Be sure to dry it afterward to prevent any bacteria buildup.
Definition of Dental Terminology
A bruxing appliance is a nightguard specializing in preventing the teeth from grinding against each other during sleep and helping the patient not damage the teeth further by clenching the jaw.
Bruxism is a condition that involves conscious and unconscious teeth grinding or jaw clenching during the day and night.
A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection, and removing said signs of infection at least once every six months in the office.
Dental sealants contain a resinous material that we apply to the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth to prevent dental caries.
A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
Jaw/Facial Muscle Myalgia
Jaw/Facial muscle myalgia is a condition that causes pain in the muscles of the patient’s jaw, face, and neck due to a decrease in the elastic property of the facial muscles.
An occlusal guard is a removable device that protects the teeth from trauma, grinding the teeth while asleep and other issues.
Preventive dentistry focuses on maintaining oral health to prevent the spread of plaque, the formation of tartar, and infections in the mouth.
Tooth enamel is the protective visible outer surface of a tooth that contains the dentin and dental pulp.