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Night Guards for Teeth Grinding & TMJ In Lynnwood

We are Conveniently Located In Lynnwood, Also Provides Cosmetic Services To Everett, Marysville, Redmond, Shoreline, Bothell, Edmonds, And All Neighboring Communities.

Night guards for Teeth Grinding & TMJ disorders

What is a night guard or an occlusal guard? Quickly stated, just visualize an athletic mouth guard. A simple plastic guard used during contact sports to protect the athlete’s teeth. A night guard or an occlusal guard is much the same. They are small pieces of plastic that fit snugly around your teeth. Easily small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Usually molded in a clear plastic so hard to see if you are self-conscious about your appearance. There is no difference between a night guard and an occlusal guard. They are one in the same. First, let’s identify why you might want to wear a guard of this nature at night.

Reasons for Needing A Night Guard

Bruxism is a medical term for clenching or grinding your teeth. Athletes, for example a weight-lifter, can clench their teeth during a particular lift causing potential damage. Enter a night guard device. A football player might as well during a tackle. Mouth guards are very common during sporting activities. Much like a night guard. When it comes to yourself, you may grind or clench your teeth during your sleep and have no idea that you are even doing it. Often times this is caused by your level of stress and how you handle that stress.  Anxiety is something that many of our fellow Americans deal with as well. With each of us being so different we react to these conditions differently. If you are indeed grinding or clenching at night, if you leave the condition untreated, you will suffer from headaches, jaw pain, worn teeth, fractured teeth, loosening your teeth, possible hearing loss or even TMJ/TMD, which is a painful condition resulting in your jaw. This action is totally involuntary. Fix it with a night guard. The effects of bruxism or night grinding includes tooth destruction and joint pain. The constant grinding and clenching of your teeth will sooner or later expose vital tissues causing a heightened sensitivity. Then the bite collapses now bringing in the alignment with your jaw. This entire time you aren’t even aware that you’re doing it in your sleep. All corrected with a night guard.

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Take Action With A Night Guard

If your sleeping partner literally can hear you at night grinding away you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A thorough exam will identify whether you have bruxism. Yes, if you are grinding at night you do want to get fitted for a night guard. Absolutely! Contrary to so many problems that dentists identify and perform procedures to correct, fitting a night guard is one of the easiest and more desirable. There is no pain during the process. The solution is economical and yields fabulous results. A win-win for all parties.

The Actual Night Guard

The best approach is to have a lab create a custom occlusal guard specifically for you. Your measurements and exact specifications will be matched. The final material of the night guard is durable and very comfortable to wear at night. It will not interrupt your sleep. Usually made out of clear plastic they are even somewhat difficult to see. Also it is common that a night guard will be made for your upper teeth only. This serves the purpose of prohibiting the grinding.

Wearing The Night Guard

Since you are given only one set of permanent teeth you might be wearing the night guard or occlusal guard for some time to come. You’ll quickly enjoy the outcome easing any discomfort or pain that you have encountered upon awakening in the morning. Your dentist is not a counselor or a therapist. If you continue to experience the stress and anxiety that result in your grinding you might want to research that avenue and try to combat the root of the problem.

Sleep Apnea & TMJ

A night guard, or occlusal guard, will be slightly different than a guard used for TMJ or a different appliance used for sleep apnea. TMJ identifies the problem being with the joint alignment so the device will focus on a raising the bite pattern, repositioning the jaw and will be made of a far more rigid acrylic. The industry will also call these devices a splint. Sleep apnea focuses more on your breathing, or, quite honestly, the lack there of. By pausing in your breathing at night you disrupt normal sleep and experience being tired during the day.

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Taking Care of Your Night Guard

You can literally brush your night guard or occlusal guard just like you would your teeth. A soft toothbrush, toothpaste and warm water will remove the plaque that will adhere to the guard during the sleeping hours. You can add in soaking it once a week in a special dental solution. Always make sure the night guard is dry when not using it to prevent bacteria from building up.

Will They Last a While?

A good example of you get what you pay for. If you buy one in a store or on line you might get six months to a year’s worth of wear out of the guard. If you have the guard fitted in your dental office and properly made in a lab from much stronger material that night guard should last you for years. You will be given a hard case to store the clean guard. Use that case to keep it out of the hands of children or even pets. In fact, with the solution so easy and with such terrific results, it is often suggested that you have the dentist make two. One as a backup or if you travel often the second one in your carry-on bag.

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