What Are the Benefits of Mouth Guards?

Benefits of Mouth Guards

If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you could be causing immense damage to your teeth. Wearing a custom-made mouthguard can help protect your teeth, keeping your smile beautiful and healthy. Dentists provide custom-fit mouthguards to address different conditions like teeth grinding and sleep apnea. Read on to learn about the immense benefits of mouth guards.

Understanding a Mouth Guard

A mouthguard is an oral appliance worn over the teeth. When used to treat sleep apnea, a mouth guard is also known as a snore guard. Usually, a dentist custom designs mouth guards to ensure they fit patients perfectly. When designing your mouthguard, the dentist starts by taking an impression of your teeth using a dental mould. The dentist then sends this impression to the lab, where they fabricate a mouth guard that matches the patient’s mouth and teeth.

Conditions Treated Using a Mouth Guard

Many people are aware of the use of mouthguards to protect the teeth during high-impact activities like sports. However, they are not aware that mouth guards also come in handy in protecting against disorders that occur while you sleep. Mouthguards are effective in treating two main conditions: teeth grinding and sleep apnea.

Teeth grinding is a common condition; about one in every three Americans experience teeth grinding or bruxism. Many people may not even know that they grind their teeth because it mainly happens while sleeping. Some of the common indications that you grind your teeth in your sleep include chronic headaches, a tight or sore neck or face, earaches, and upper or lower jaw pain. Teeth grinding has dangerous long-term effects that include:

  • It can wear down your teeth to the stumps
  • Loosening or loss of teeth
  • Teeth fracturing
  • Development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) or worsening of the condition
  • Ongoing health issues in your jaw
  • Change in your face’s appearance

If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you are more likely to suffer from other sleep disorders like snoring or sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

Studies reveal that sleep apnea affects around 18 million Americans. This condition makes you stop breathing for a certain duration as you sleep. There are various forms of sleep apnea, but the typical one is obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the muscles in the throat relax, closing the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea causes snoring and disturbed sleep when you temporarily stop breathing.

The other form of sleep apnea is known as central sleep apnea. It is less common and results when the brain does not send breathing signals to throat muscles, causing you to stop breathing in your sleep. Some people have complex sleep apnea, whereby they suffer from both central and obstructive sleep apnea.

If not treated, sleep apnea could lead to many severe complications, including:

  • Depression, anxiety, and ADHD
  • Fatigue
  • Memory trouble
  • Obesity
  • An increased risk of occupational and auto accidents
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension and heart disease

How Mouth Guards Work in Treating Teeth Grinding and Sleep Apnea

Mouthguards work differently in treating sleep apnea and teeth grinding. In both cases, mouth guards are effective in preventing the conditions from worsening.

A mouth guard treats teeth grinding by keeping your teeth separated while you sleep. Even while wearing a mouth guard, you might still have the impulse to clench and grind your teeth. However, a mouth guard provides a soft surface for you to grind your teeth instead of grinding your teeth against each other. A mouth guard minimizes the damage that teeth-grinding causes on your teeth.

Custom-made snore guards from Molson Park Dental treat sleep apnea by putting force on your lower jaw. As the snore guard pushes your jaw and tongue forward, it prevents the muscles in your throat from closing as you sleep. This enhances easier breathing throughout the night. Unlike the CPAP machines, which are the conventional treatment for sleep apnea, snore guards are more comfortable to wear. They are also easier to clean and store, making it more convenient to carry them whenever you plan to sleep away from home.

The Top Benefits of Mouth Guards

Wearing mouth guards has many benefits. You are more likely to grind your teeth while you sleep if you are feeling stressed. Mouthguards prevent this from happening. The benefits of mouth guards extend beyond preventing teeth grinding:

  • A mouth guard prevents tooth damage by ensuring that your upper and bottom teeth have no contact while you sleep. Most people are unaware that they are grinding their teeth while they sleep. Since you have no control over teeth grinding, using a mouth guard is the ideal solution.
  • Mouthguards reduce jaw tension and pain. Clenching your temporomandibular jaw while you sleep could lead to a temporomandibular disorder. Wearing a nightguard reduces the jaw tension and pain caused by TMD.
  • By treating snoring and sleep apnea, mouth guards enhance healthy sleep patterns. Your custom-made mouthguard will fit into your mouth perfectly and align the jaw in a position that reduces stress, helping your jaw muscles to relax. This will, in turn, help you sleep stress-free and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
  • A mouth guard saves your teeth and, in turn, saves you money. The damage resulting from jaw clenching and tooth grinding is costly, especially if the damage occurs over an extended period. Mouthguards prevent severe tooth damage.

Learn More about Sleep Guards

If you believe that you suffer from teeth grinding or sleep apnea, we invite you to talk to use a Molson Park Dental. If both teeth grinding and sleep apnea are left untreated, they could lead to advanced health and oral complications. Our experts will evaluate your symptoms and create a customized treatment plan that suits your unique needs. If you are ready to learn about the numerous benefits of mouthguards, visit us today or call to schedule a consultation.