Night Guards Birmingham, AL
Tooth grinding can trigger jaw pain and restless slumber. A night guard can help if you struggle to stop grinding or clenching your teeth. Customized night guards adapt to your dental needs and mouth shape. Night guards gently cushion your jaws during sleep and prevent dental damage.
Dental night guards are available at Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD in Birmingham and the surrounding area. Each custom-fitted mouth protector is designed to ease bruxism symptoms, a condition that results from tooth grinding. Over time, bruxism can lead to chipped teeth and jaw misalignment. Night guards help prevent these troublesome dental problems. Call us at (205) 282-8261 to schedule an appointment.
Mouth Guards vs. Night Guards
Many patients wonder about the difference between mouth guards and night guards. These devices indeed serve a similar purpose. Mouthguards protect teeth during physical activities like football or boxing. Dentists often recommend mouthguards to athletes and active adults.
Night guards protect against bruxism, or grinding and clenching the teeth during sleep. Nighttime teeth grinding can cause severe dental damage. Over time, grinding one's teeth can destroy the enamel and trigger gum erosion. Without treatment, the damage can progress, and some patients may need dental surgery. Night guards can help protect bruxism patients from permanent dental damage.
How Often to Wear Your Night Guard
It is vital to wear a night guard consistently to protect against tooth damage. Wearing a night guard on an irregular schedule offers minimal protection. Most patients can expect to wear their devices every night.
Night Guards and Braces
Even patients with braces can still benefit from a night guard. Modern night guards fit over braces and other dental appliances. Our team creates a custom-fitted night guard that works alongside any other dental treatments.
“Night guards can help protect bruxism patients from permanent dental damage.”
Night Guards as a Dental Treatment
Bruxism is a common condition that affects up to 10% of Americans. People with bruxism unconsciously grind their teeth or clench their jaw. Often, this tooth-grinding occurs during the night. As a result, many people with bruxism are unaware that they have the condition.
Over time, bruxism can lead to serious dental problems. Night guards help protect the teeth by easing pressure in the jaw. These devices also guard the teeth against chips and uneven wear patterns that often result from jaw clenching.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull. Nighttime grinding or clenching often lead to TMJ disorders, including stubborn headaches and neck pain. Night guards are a simple method for preventing or treating TMJ problems.
Sleep apnea develops when patients stop breathing for brief periods during the night. Airflow may become blocked due to the placement of the jaw and tongue. Night guards can align the jaw, relieving some sleep apnea symptoms and preventing life-threatening health complications.
“Night guards help protect your teeth by easing pressure in the jaw.”
Benefits of a Night Guard
Clenching and grinding can destroy the tooth enamel. Patients may be at a higher risk for cavities, tooth sensitivity, or gum erosion during their lifetime. People with bruxism can also develop unsightly chipped teeth or muscle tension.
These symptoms can lead to cosmetic dental issues and have a significant impact on the quality of life. Many people who grind their teeth report headaches, neck pain, and restless sleep. Night guards may allow affected individuals to sleep more soundly.
“Night guards may allow affected individuals to sleep more soundly.”
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Choosing a Night Guard
Night guards are available over-the-counter. While these options can be cost-effective, they may not deliver results. Premade night guards don't always fit properly, and they can be uncomfortable. Over-the-counter night guards are also less durable.
Custom-fitted night guards are built to last, and they adapt to the patient's unique needs. Custom night guards can even adapt to braces or other dental appliances. These devices work alongside existing dental or orthodontic treatments.
Modern night guards are made from translucent acrylic, and they are designed to be discreet. There is no need to be self-conscious about a clunky or unattractive appliance. Patients can choose the material for their devices. Our team creates each custom night guard to each patient's specifications.
“Custom-fitted night guards are built to last, and they adapt to the patient’s unique needs.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Caring for Your Night Guard
Taking care of one's teeth allows the night guard to provide optimal protection. Patients should make sure to brush and floss before inserting the device. They should also take care to clean it before and after each use.
Begin by rinsing the night guard with clean water. Then brush the device using your toothbrush and toothpaste. Once the night guard is in place, patients should not consume anything except plain water. They should also try not to expose the night guard to heat, either. Hot water or direct sunlight can warp the material.
Contact our team if the device gets lost or becomes damaged. Using a damaged or poorly fitted device can risk your oral health. We can arrange for a replacement night guard.
“Patients should make sure to brush and floss before inserting the device.”
Q. What is bruxism?
A. Bruxism results from tooth grinding or clenching. Symptoms can include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Jaw pain or jaw locking
- Headaches or facial tension
- Jaw clicking or popping
Our team can usually diagnose bruxism by examining your teeth and jaw muscles. A night guard can ease bruxism symptoms.
Q. When should I see a dentist if I suspect that I have bruxism?
A. If you notice symptoms of bruxism, notify your dental team right away. The sooner you receive treatment, the better. Untreated bruxism can cause significant dental damage. A night guard helps protect your teeth from chips, cracks, and uneven wear.
Q. How can I choose the right night guard?
A. Our dental team can help you review your options. While over-the-counter devices may seem tempting, custom-fitted devices offer added protection. We can order a customized night guard that meets your dental needs.
Q. Do over-the-counter night guards work?
A. Over-the-counter appliances may provide some protection, but they often fit poorly. Many patients find these devices clunky and uncomfortable. Custom-fitted night guards are designed with your unique needs in mind.
Q. How long does it take to create a custom-fitted night guard?
A. Our team can take impressions of your teeth during a routine office visit. After the impressions are complete, the team sends them to a dental lab. It usually takes about two weeks to have your night guard created and shipped.
- Bruxing Appliance
- A bruxing appliance is a night guard that specializes in preventing the teeth from grinding against each other during sleep and helping the patient not damage the teeth further by clenching the jaw.
- Dental Checkup
- 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.
- 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.
- Occlusal Guards
- An occlusal guard is a removable device that protects the teeth from trauma, grinding the teeth while asleep and other issues.
Call Us Today
Millions of Americans struggle with tooth grinding and clenching. These problems can lead to jaw pain, tooth misalignment, and restless slumber. A customized night guard protects your teeth and helps you enjoy a restful night's sleep.
Do not let conditions like bruxism destroy your oral health. Let Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD in Birmingham help you choose a night guard. Call us at 205-282-8261 to schedule an appointment.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2022
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2022
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2022
About our business and website security
- Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD was established in 2014.
- We accept the following payment methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
- We serve patients from the following counties: Shelby County and Jefferson County
- We serve patients from the following cities: Birmingham, Homewood, Fultondale, Forestdale, Irondale, Chelsea, Helena, Alabaster, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, McCalla, Mountain Brook, Leeds, Shoal Creek, and Pelham
- National Provider Identifier Database (1952717134). View NPI Registry Information
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