NightguardA nightguard is a plastic oral appliance that can be worn on either the upper or lower teeth to support and protect the biting surfaces of the teeth. This appliance looks a lot like an orthodontic retainer, but it is thicker and has a different fit that intentionally separates and balances the bite. It is called a “night” guard because it is typically used during the night time or sleeping hours while patients are resting.

Grinding Teeth Night guards are most commonly recommended by your dentist and will be customized to your specific teeth and bite by taking an impression in office. The dental lab will then make the nightguard for you and your dentist will check and balance the fit chairside. Having a custom nightguard is the most thorough and professional way to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching habits, which cause damage to the teeth, gums, and are a significant cause of headaches and overworked facial muscles. Over the counter nightguards are sold in stores, however, they will not have the custom fit or hardness that an in-office nightguard has, which will likely result in the nightguard not staying seated for the duration of the night. Having a consultation with your Briter Dental dentist will allow for proper evaluation and recommendations based on your individual needs.

There are many reasons why a nightguard may be recommended to a patient for use, including:

  1. Preventing Damage to Teeth and Existing Restorations
    Grinding and clenching your teeth can cause damage to the enamel and gums. Teeth that are worn down or eroded due to malocclusion can become more susceptible to decay and also cause further problems with the way your teeth come together. Heavy grinding can cause fractures to nature tooth structure and existing restorations in the mouth, which can potentially result in severe damage or tooth loss.
  2. Preventing Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder and Headaches
    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the skull and jaw together, and is a complex set of muscles, bone, and tissues that work together to help you chew, talk, and move your facial structures. Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause a misalignment in the TMJ over time, causing TMJ dysfunction. Patients who experiences TMJ Dysfunction have difficulty chewing, pain in or near the ear, and often complain of headaches or tension in the head and neck. Nightguard use can prevent the progression of this joint dysfunction and can provide relief to overworked muscles and the surrounding tissues.


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Thank you for choosing us to be your dental health care providers in the Katy and Houston area. Following a good oral hygiene routine and receiving regular dental check ups are ways to keep your healthy smile.

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