How Can Dental Nightguards Improve My Health?

Man putting in nightguard Dental nightguards, often called occlusal splints or bite guards, are oral appliances worn while sleeping to protect the teeth and jaws or improve your ability to breathe freely. Several conditions respond well to nightguard therapy, improving your health.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition in which an individual periodically stops breathing throughout the night, leading to reduced oxygen levels in the brain and interrupted sleep. Although a CPAP machine may be the first solution recommended, many patients cannot tolerate the bulky, uncomfortable mask and noisy machine.

A custom-designed nightguard is a lightweight, comfortable alternative to CPAP. The oral appliance is made to fit over the teeth and hold the jaw in the proper position to allow free breathing without the tongue or soft tissues blocking the airway. Most patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea report that their nightguard is just as effective as CPAP but more comfortable and easier to use.

Snoring

If your snoring drives your partner crazy, you aren’t alone. Every year, millions complain about losing sleep because of their partner’s snoring. Snoring happens when the muscles in the back of the throat relax during sleep. The jaw and tongue slip backward, narrowing the airway. The reduced airflow causes the mouth’s soft tissues to vibrate, causing snoring.

A nightguard or snore guard is designed to pull the lower jaw forward, clearing the back of the throat and opening the airway. As a result, air flows freely, and the soft tissues no longer vibrate.

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

If you grind or clench your teeth at night, you are seriously damaging your teeth and compromising your oral health. Over time, the teeth become worn down and may crack or break. Bruxism can also cause your jawbone to shift out of alignment, impacting your bite and ability to eat comfortably.

A bruxism nightguard provides a cushioning effect that helps distribute the forces of grinding or clenching, preventing excessive wear and damage to the teeth. Nightguards act as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, keeping them from meeting to reduce impact and friction.

Bruxism can also lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a condition causing chronic jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms. Nightguards create a stable bite alignment and alleviate jaw tension, reducing the strain on the temporomandibular joint.

Benefits of Nightguards

  • Reduced tension in the neck and jaw
  • Elimination of snoring
  • Improved nighttime sleeping
  • Prevents teeth wear and tear
  • Alleviation of jaw pain and headaches
  • A happier partner

Dr. Dani evaluates each patient’s need for a nightguard based on a thorough examination, dental imaging, evaluation of symptoms, and the patient’s goals. Wondering if nightguards might improve your sleep and, therefore, your health? Contact our office at Kenilworth Dental Associates Office Phone Number (847) 256-7700 to schedule an appointment. Better sleep and better health may be only a phone call away!

 

We provide a caring, nurturing environment where your comfort and health is of primary importance. Call us Today!
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