What is a Night Guard Supposed to Do

About 15% of people suffer from grinding or clenching of the teeth. This problem is called bruxism. In most cases, these conditions show up during sleep and often go undetected.
The causes of bruxism are studied, but widely debated. Many experts think it is not only a symptom of a physical problem in the jaw, but perhaps also a psychological problem, as stress can increase its occurrence.
Treatment of bruxism
When bruxism is diagnosed, the dental professional can suggest to his patient the wearing of a night guard which will control its harmful effects. The night guard is a simple and mechanical way to eradicate bruxism disorders without resorting to surgery.

What is a night guard?

The night guard is a very simple device that is usually made mostly of acrylic. It can be worn day or night as needed. The purpose of the bite plate is to prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact. It is therefore fixed on the chewing surface (of the upper or lower jaw) and thereby eliminates excessive friction between the teeth. Dentists generally recommend bite plate when they notice premature tooth wear or when the patient complains of jaw pain (temporomandibular joint problems).

In which cases should a night guard be used?

In addition to premature tooth wear, bruxism and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can lead to a multitude of symptoms such as migraines, joint pain, crunches, tension in the muscles, congestion in the the ears and even a limitation of the opening of the mouth. If the patient is in such pain and the bruxism or ATM disorder is known, then the bite plate will be life-saving. Note also that the bite plate can be used to protect the teeth of athletes (hockey, football, boxing, etc.). In this case, the device will avoid friction and limit the impact of blows that could damage or even break the teeth.

What is the role of the night guard?

The night guard promotes muscle and joint relaxation of the jaw. Its presence considerably reduces the tendency to grind or clench your teeth during sleep. As a result, the appliance protects the teeth and slows down premature wear.

How is it made?

To be effective, the bite plate must be custom made from the impressions of the teeth. This helps optimize both comfort and retention. Most of the time, the plate is semi-rigid, made of a material that does not generate any particular taste. Occlusal plates sold in pharmacies do not have the same effect as those made to measure in a dental office. Before investing in an aligner, it is best to consult a dentist to identify the causes of tooth wear, jaw pain or joint pain. In general, the guard is worn for several years without being too damaged. However, people with severe bruxism can wear down their bite plate to the point of puncturing it within a few months. This suggests the wear and tear that the teeth would have undergone without the use of an aligner.

Some tips for wearing an occlusal plate

Before each use, the plate should be brushed carefully and then immersed for a few minutes in hot water. At first, it is quite normal to find the plaque thick and sometimes bothersome (because it causes profuse salivation). Fortunately, this feeling wears off quickly. After a few days of use, the dentist offers to take stock of the comfort of the patient wearing the plaque. If he complains of pain or discomfort, the healthcare professional will make the necessary adjustments until the pose is optimal. A properly seated and properly fitted bite plate is a painless plate. If the plate is made of acrylic, then it should be stored in a container with water. Without it, it could harden and become unusable. Some also choose to soak it in a cleaning solution and occasionally in a mixture of water and white vinegar.

Will a Night Guard Change your Bite