What Is an Occlusal Guard?
An occlusal guard, also known as a mouth or dental night guard, is a custom fitted appliance worn either on your upper or lower arch. Most patients are familiar with a sports guard. Although it is also meant to protect your teeth, it is very different from an occlusal guard appliance. A night guard is worn to protect your teeth from bruxism (grinding) and/or clenching at night. Grinding is the motion of moving your teeth and jaw back and forth, while clenching is when you are biting down with excessive pressure. At Clear Dental Studio in Broomfield, we specialize in crafting custom mouth guards that serve a variety of purposes, which will be detailed below. Occlusal Guards are one of the many preventive services we offer.
What Are the Indications of Needing a Night Guard?
A dental night guard may be needed if you ever wake up to tenderness, soreness, headaches, and or pain in your jaw, or head/neck region. You may also need one if you catch yourself during the day clenching down, which may indicate that you grind and/or clench in the evening. However, sometimes these signs and symptoms are not readily apparent because you may be doing it at night periodically. Your dentist will be able determine if you have any wear facets, breakage or damage on your teeth from bruxism.
Why Do I Need a Dental Night Guard?
A night guard is essential in protecting your teeth from excessive loads. As you consistently pound on your teeth, small microcracks can occur leading to cavities, fractures, and wearing down of your teeth. As you know, once your teeth are gone, they do not grow back and it is crucial that you protect them to maintain full function. A night guard is a great preventive and protective measure for your teeth.
How Does the Guard Help Me?
A night guard works by creating space for your muscles to relax and your jaw to separate, so your teeth do not damage each other. It also helps program your jaw muscles to limit the pressure from the grinding and clenching.
If you are involved in any type of sport, it may be beneficial for you to consider a sports guard. Sports guards are custom made to your teeth and is thicker than a dental night guard appliance. It is a great way to prevent any dental injury and keep your teeth safe and protected for both you and your children!
Schedule Your Preventive Dentistry Appointment with Clear Dental Studio in Broomfield, CO Today!
If you live in the Broomfield area and are in need of a dental evaluation, cleaning, assessment or any other dental services, turn to Clear Dental Studio. Dr. Martha Ha and her team of dental specialists are known for performing exceptional dental work for the residents of Broomfield and beyond and can do the same for you! Whether you need cosmetic, restorative, preventive, or surgery-oriented dental services, the choice is Clear. Call now or book online to schedule an appointment at our office in Broomfield.