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What Are Dental Nightguards?

example of what are dental nightguards

Frequently waking with sore jaw muscles, jaw joint pain, headaches, or tooth pain can be deeply uncomfortable. These symptoms are possible signs of bruxism. Bruxism is teeth grinding, a condition affecting one in 10 American adults, according to the American Dental Association. Wearing dental nightguard can help. Learn what are dental nightguards and find out how general dentistry services can help.

What Are Dental Nightguards?

So what are dental nightguards? Nightguards are clear, custom-fitted plastic dental appliances worn while you sleep. Although you can buy temporary nightguards in Texas in a pharmacy, you need a custom-fitted one to provide the right support and a comfortable fit for ongoing treatment.

Custom fitting keeps your jaw relaxed as you sleep. The higher-quality materials of a custom nightguard provided through Lovett Dental are also more durable and longer-lasting.

The main purpose of your nightguard is to prevent your teeth from grinding together in your sleep. As a result of wearing this simple appliance, you avoid cracking, breaking, and chipping your teeth. You also avoid jaw muscle strain and other pain caused by your bruxism.

If you experience symptoms of bruxism, talk to your dentist at Lovett Dental. These teeth grinding symptoms include:

  • Waking with a sore jaw or tooth pain
  • Waking with dull headaches or migraine-like pain behind the eyes
  • Frequent rhythmic contractions of your jaw muscles
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Painful or tight jaw muscles
  • Unexplained, enduring face pain
  • Occasional swelling on your lower jaw

Will Dental Nightguards Help My Bruxism?

Most people notice improved bruxism symptoms after wearing dental nightguards. However, if your nightguard fails to provide the relief you need, your dentist can recommend other treatment options. These include teeth straightening, stress prevention, dietary changes, and medication changes.

Teeth straightening helps some people with bruxism who grind their teeth because of malocclusion. Malocclusion is misaligned teeth. Wearing braces straightens your teeth, preventing teeth grinding and improving your smile at the same time.

Some patients feel shocked that teeth grinding sometimes necessitates talk therapy. However, at the root of teeth grinding could be a potential anxiety problem. Besides counseling, meditation and relaxation techniques can also help.

Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants help relieve some people of teeth grinding symptoms. Your dentist must also know what medications you take as some can cause bruxism. Researchers link some antidepressants to teeth grinding. With a medication change, patients often alleviate their nighttime teeth grinding.

Do Dental Nightguards Prevent TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder, affects one of the most complex joints in your body. Believe it or not, your jaw is that highly complex joint. It must work properly to move your lower jaw forward, sideways comfortably, and backward for talking, eating, and other functions.

When your jaw joint fails to work as it should, your dental experts can diagnose the problem. A TMJ disorder is any of these conditions that affect the jaw's muscles, discs, ligaments, or bones. Sometimes, you feel or hear the malfunctioning, such as jaw popping, clicking, or sticking in one position.

Dentists do not know precisely what causes TMJ disorder in many patients. However, wearing dental nightguards can relieve symptoms. TMJ disorder symptoms include migraine-like headaches, earaches, eye pressure or pain, jaw noises, locking jaw, muscle tenderness, and changing fit in your upper and lower teeth.

Where Do I Get Dental Nightguards?

Lovett Dental in Houston, Texas, provides bruxism and TMJ disorder patients with dental nightguards when needed. The best way to understand whether you need a nightguard is to visit Lovett Dental to diagnose your dental problem and treatment recommendations.

Some of the important dental services provided by Lovett Dental include:

Other services provided for Lovett Dental patients include veneers, implant-supported dentures, braces, and cosmetic dentistry services. Whether you need dental nightguards or other dentistry, you can trust our caring team. Contact Lovett Dental today at 832-804-7427 to learn more about us and schedule your first dental exam and consultation.