Mouth Guards Specialist

John D. Aiken, DMD -  - Cosmetic Dentist

Inverness Smiles

John D. Aiken, DMD

Cosmetic Dentist & General Dentist located in Birmingham, AL

If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw while you sleep, mouth guards can help preserve your teeth and reduce discomfort. John Aiken, DMD, and the team at Inverness Smiles in Birmingham, Alabama, offer custom-fitted mouth guards that are comfortable to wear. Book an appointment to learn more about mouth guards and other options. Online scheduling is fast and easy, or you can always call to speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff.

Mouth Guards Q&A

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition affecting the joints that join your lower jaw to your skull. These joints are able to withstand significant motion and force and play a vital role in speaking, chewing, and yawning. 

Symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain in or around your ear
  • Popping or grinding noises when you open and close your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing

Numerous factors can impact your temporomandibular joint. Genetics, arthritis, and even something as simple as a habit of resting your chin in your palm can lead to TMJ. One of the most common causes, however, is nighttime teeth grinding, which places substantial pressure on your jaw. 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that prevents you from getting a full night’s rest. There are several types of sleep apnea, the most common of which is called obstructive sleep apnea. 

People with obstructive sleep apnea experience unconscious muscle relaxation in their throat while asleep. When those muscles relax, your airway becomes temporarily blocked. Your body, now deprived of oxygen, reacts by abruptly gasping for breath, which disrupts your sleep. Some people with sleep apnea partially wake hundreds of times a night. 

What are mouth guards?

A mouth guard is a dental appliance worn during sleep. Inverness Smiles offers custom-fitted mouth guards that can help stop bruxism, which is the medical term for teeth grinding. 

Mouth guards alter the way your bite fits together. This prevents you from clenching or grinding your teeth at night. Some people even find that mouth guards reduce snoring. 

A nighttime mouth guard, or sleep guard, can also effectively treat sleep apnea. The device creates a subtle change in the way your teeth and tongue are positioned during sleep, helping keep your airway open and reducing the need to gasp for breath during the night. 

There are also mouth guards you can wear during sports or fitness pursuits. These serve to protect your teeth from harm in the event of a sports injury. 

If you’re ready to learn more about mouth guard options, call the office today to schedule a visit. Online booking is also available and can be completed from the comfort of home, any time of day or night.