Bruxism or teeth grinding can be potentially destructive for the teeth. It is a painful condition that requires immediate attention. There exists a solution to every problem, and bruxism is no exception. People diagnosed with bruxism are benefitted to a great extent by prescribing them night mouthguards.
Also known by the name of bite splints or nocturnal bite plates, these mouthguards act as a barrier between teeth and help ease the tension by cushioning the jaw muscles when an individual clenches or grinds their teeth at night. The cushion provided by the mouthguard also helps in avoiding jaw and face pain and also protects the enamel. An expert advisory group of dentists at Dr. Emily Zaramella, DDS can help in guiding you further.
General Types of Night Mouthguards
Depending on our dentist's prescription and the individual's needs, night mouthguards can be custom-fit, boil-bite, and one-size-fits-all. Custom-fit mouthguards are built by using the impressions of an individual's mouth as a model. They are known to work best as they are designed according to the patient's mouth shape and their needs. People with braces and implants can also comfortably wear these mouthguards as they can fit the unique shape of their teeth and braces or implants.
The second type of mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, are built from thermoplastic material and can be easily prepared for placement at home. Put the mouthguard in hot but not boiling water for some time, so the material softens. Once softened, place the mouthguard in your mouth and after positioning it correctly, bite down on it for twenty seconds. Remove the mouthguard and put it under running cold water for it to harden. These steps can also be repeated for reshaping.
One-size-fits-all mouthguards are available ready to wear and do not always offer a perfect fit. They are also bulky and can make breathing difficult as well.
Types of Night Mouthguards Depending On Bruxism Severity
Night mouthguards have yet three more sub-types: soft, dual laminate, and hard night mouthguards, depending on the bruxism severity level. Mild and occasional cases of bruxism use soft night guards. They are comfortable to wear and thin but are not durable as a long term solution.
Moderately severe cases of bruxism use dual laminate night guards. They have a hard covering with a soft inner part. They handle heavy clenching and grinding and are thicker and long-lasting.
Severe cases of bruxism use hard night guards. They are made up of acrylic and are relatively rigid and durable. They are the most durable and also prevent teeth shifting. They always need to be custom-made because a more accurate impression is required for the fit.
Caring For Night Mouthguards
Keeping your night mouthguard clean and germ-free is vital as they stay in your mouth for the whole time you sleep. Avoid exposing your mouthguard to direct heat, whether it be through the sun or hot water. Heat can cause it to acquire damage and change shape.
Store your mouthguard in a vented plastic container and keep it out of the reach of pets. Clean your mouthguard using cold water and soap after every use and let it air dry.
If you wish to know more about night mouthguards, you can reach out to our experts through 737-273-3303. You can also visit us at Dr. Emily Zaramella, DDS.