Chances are, if you’ve ever woken up with a headache or jaw pain for no apparent reason, you probably suffer from bruxism. According to the American Dental Association, 15 out of every 100 adults suffer from bruxism, clenching, or grinding of the teeth. This phenomenon can occur at any time, especially when the person experiences stressful situations and when sleeping. Unfortunately, this situation can cause abnormal and exaggerated wear of the teeth, in addition to cracking or even fracturing. It can also cause jaw pain, sleeplessness, and headaches. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura,Newbury Park and Port Hueneme will quickly note this situation upon examination and recommend the use of a nightguard.

What Are Nightguards?

A nightguard is also known as a bite, occlusal guard or splint device is placed over the teeth for protection. These guards are not designed to prevent people from clenching or grinding their teeth. When you clench your jaw, the dental night guard will help relieve the tension and cushion the jaw muscles.

This cushioning not only helps prevent head, face, and jaw pain but it will also protect the tooth enamel. In addition to wearing a customized nightguard at night, your dentist can also make some recommendations that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of clenching and grinding of the teeth. This may include limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, reducing or eliminating tobacco use, especially just before bedtime, and engaging in relaxing activities such as a warm bath, yoga, or listening to soft music before retiring.

How Are Nightguards Made?

Nightguards are usually made of plastic; they are designed to be worn over the upper or lower teeth, most commonly  over the upper teeth. A model of your mouth will be needed, as these guards are custom designed for you in a dental lab. Models will be made in the office with our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury park and Port Hueneme.They are made in a way that allows you to breathe easily and speak normally.

They are designed to be comfortable on the teeth. Water may be imbibed while wearing them, but you should avoid sugary foods and drinks to keep the guards clean and prevent bacteria buildup on the teeth during sleep.

How Nightguards Work

The American Association of Orthodontists explains that just before reaching deep sleep, different reasons cause breathing pauses, especially our tongue or the position we adopt. They can pause or even block our breathing.. In these cases,the brain orders the jaw to act, tighten, and grind to keep the airways open and to be able to breathe. This allows us to continue breathing but prevents us from going into a deep sleep. Generally,  this is reflected in our mental and physical health. 

A nightguard  protects the teeth since the force exerted by the jaw is such that it could fracture them. However, in addition tothis protections, the most important thing is to understand and eliminate the causes that provoke  sleep disturbance.

There are also other reasons for teeth clenching. As mentioned before, it usually occurs when we are in high-stress situations. By using nightguards and treating the cause of the stress, we will prevent damage to the teeth.


The Benefits Of A Nightguard

Wearing a well-fitting, custom-fitted nightguard can help protect your teeth, sleep well, and avoid headaches and jaw pain in the morning. Bruxism is, in fact, one of the principal causes of endodontics, as the wear on the tooth gets to the point where the deeper tissues are exposed. This will cause sensitivity and pain, plus it will be difficult to restore with resins as these restorations do not last.

Nightguards are less expensive than crowns, veneers, bridges, implants, extractions, and root canals that are sometimes necessary to repair teeth that have been worn down or damaged by clenching and grinding. Our dentists may recommend that you start wearing one for a few hours while you are awake, so you can get used to the sensation before sleeping with it. If well cared for, nightguards can last up to ten years, making them a very worthwhile investment.

To care for your nightguard you should:

  • Rinse your mouthguard with cold water or mouthwash before and after each use or clean it with mild soap and a toothbrush.
  • Place the mouthguard in a firm, perforated container for storage or transport. This allows air circulation and helps prevent damage. If the mouthguard is acrylic, store it in fresh, clean water.
  • Protect the nightguard from high temperatures – such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight – to prevent warping.
  • Check the mouthguard for general wear from time to time. If you find holes or tears or if it loosens or causes discomfort, it should be replaced.
  • Bring the mouthguard to each periodic visit to the dentist for examination.

Contact U

Our specialists at Channel Island Family Dental seek to restore your smile to its natural appearance and will determine the best treatment for your case.

If you have any questions about this or other topics, you contact us at Channel Island Family Dental, as well as on our Facebook page. At Channel Island Family Dental we will be attentive to your visit and make a timely diagnosis.  Besides, our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura,Newbury Park and Port Hueneme will guide you to the best treatment to give you back your best smile. 


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