What Is a Night Guard?
At ACE Dental of Bellmead, we are pleased to offer oral appliance therapy (OAT) to individuals who suffer from chronic clenching or grinding (bruxism) of their teeth. While these habits can occur at any time of day, many patients experience bruxism at night without knowing it. To help safeguard the teeth and jaw, a night guard is worn over the upper or lower arch during sleep. Some common indicators of bruxism include morning headaches, sore jaw, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), tooth pain, and worn or damaged tooth enamel. If you suspect bruxism, reach out to our office in Bellmead, TX to learn how night guards can help protect your teeth and overall oral health.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism?
Bruxism is typically caused by physical and emotional factors, such as stress, anxiety, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), misaligned teeth, and a poor bite. Most patients who suffer from bruxism generally have a family history of this condition as well. Once your bruxism has been diagnosed, we can determine if a night guard is the best form of therapy. The most common signs and symptoms of habitual clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth include:
- Waking up with pain or tightness in the jaw
- Clicking when you open or close your mouth
- Damaged or loose fillings, crowns, or veneers
- Frequent tension headaches
- Chipped or worn teeth
- Gum recession
- Tooth pain
What Is the Night Guard Process?
The first step in developing your custom-made appliance involves taking digital impressions of your top and bottom teeth. These images are then sent over to our partner lab where your night guard will be created. Your device will be made of high-quality material and sent over to our office once it's ready. After this time, we'll have you return for your fitting and make minor alterations to ensure a comfortable fit. Our team will also review how to properly wear and care for your appliance.
How to Care for Your Bruxism Appliance
In order to safeguard your teeth and reduce the side effects of bruxism, your mouth guard should be worn every night. This helps prevent damage to your teeth and minimizes strain on your jaw joints. Depending on the severity of your case, other therapies, such as palliative remedies, stress exercises, and lifestyle changes, may also be recommended to improve your comfort. With proper care and storage, your night guard should last a long time. We also encourage you to bring your night guard to all future dental appointments so we can monitor the wear and tear of your appliance and decide when it may be time for a replacement.
Are Night Guards Covered by Insurance?
Since night guards are often considered a preventive form of treatment, they may be covered in part by some dental plans. Our billing office will be sure to contact your provider to review your benefits and determine if any coverage is available. From there, we can estimate your personal costs and discuss all of your payment options, including medical financing.
Protect your smile from Bruxism
Habitual clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth can negatively impact your oral health and overall well-being. To reduce the strain and uncomfortable symptoms of bruxism, ACE Dental of Bellmead uses high-quality, custom night guards. Contact our office in Bellmead, TX to discover how oral appliance therapy can help you.