Here at Stephanie K. Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ we know how hard it can be to go through your day if you’ve had a bad sleep. It can be so frustrating to wake up tired, not knowing why you sleep, sometimes for eight or nine hours, and still wake up tired. Many times the cause of daytime drowsiness and the inability to get a restful sleep is nighttime tooth grinding. Millions of Americans grind their teeth at night without realizing it and wake up the next day tired and groggy. It’s dangerous, tiring, and preventable! At Stephanie K. Dentistry, we offer dental guards that prevent nighttime tooth grinding and allow you to get better sleep at night.
What is a Dental Mouthguard?
Everyone is familiar with mouthguards for sports, which are meant to keep your mouth safe from impacts during physical activities. Night time mouthguards are similar to sports guards but different enough to necessitate a separate guard. The nighttime mouthguard is custom fitted to your bite, allowing for comfort while you sleep. Nighttime mouthguards are usually not soft or made from a material that gives, instead they are made from rigid plastic or acrylic, that last a long time. It’s important the nighttime mouthguards not be chewy at all, or else there is a risk that you will chew on your guard while you sleep. Chewing on the guard while you sleep can exacerbate the issue of irritation in the jaw.
The Dangers of Nighttime Tooth Grinding
Tooth grinding sounds like a victimless crime, but in reality, there are many downsides that can arise because of it. The direct damage is dealt with your teeth, which will suffer from the grinding action over time. The enamel on your teeth will be worn away, and can even crack or chip causing structural damage that will need to be repaired with some restorative procedure. The indirect damage is less quantifiable, as it is presented as side effects of having poor sleep. Being sleepy or tired throughout the day can be as dangerous as being drunk if you are operating a car or heavy equipment. Not getting enough sleep is often linked to many serious health issues.
The Procedure to Receive a Mouthguard
The first step in the process is to determine whether you grind your teeth at night. Usually, we can determine whether you grind your teeth at night by examining your molars for signs of constant grinding. Chances are if you grind your teeth you have for years, and the signs of grinding will show on your teeth. Many time all that we have to do to determine whether a patient grinds their teeth at night is talk to their spouse or significant other. It’s hard to miss someone grinding their teeth at night, as it usually produces an audible sound.
Having a mouthguard crafted is a simple process. The first step is to take an impression of your mouth. Once we have the impression we will send it to our dental lab where they will create a custom mouthguard for you. Once it has been crafted we will have you come back to our office and fit it to your mouth.
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