Preventative dentistry is a broad field that encompasses many facets of oral health. Not only does preventative dentistry involve the prevention of cavities, but it also involves the treatment of oral diseases and disorders. Our professionals at Rockton Dental can meet all of your oral health needs. One way in which we accomplish this goal is by providing you with a custom nighttime mouthguard to treat sleep-related disorders.
Why Are Night Mouthguards Needed?
Night mouthguards are designed to treat a variety of disorders. These disorders can involve a disruption in breathing or involuntary behaviors that damage your teeth. All of these disorders can potentially be treated simply by using a nighttime mouthguard.
One common condition that can be treated by a mouthguard is bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that involves grinding or clenching your teeth during your sleep cycle. Many patients are not even aware that they grind their teeth at night unless they are told by a partner or have begun to experience damage to their teeth. Other symptoms of bruxism involve facial pain and jaw soreness.
Night mouthguards are also frequently used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that involves the interruption of normal breathing during your sleep cycle. Obstructive sleep apnea is a specific type of sleep apnea that is caused by a relaxation of the muscles around the throat and tongue. When these muscles relax, the tissue can block your airway.
A night mouthguard looks very similar to a sports mouthguard and treats this condition by preventing obstruction and gently holding your mouth in ideal positioning. This type of nighttime mouthguard is called a mandibular advancement device. The device snaps over your upper and lower set of teeth and is equipped with metal hinges that slightly reposition your jaw during sleep.
How Long Do They Last?
The lifespan of your mouthguard will vary depending on what condition it is being used to treat and how well you care for the mouthguard. If our team provides you with a mouthguard to treat bruxism, it may need to be replaced every six months. This is because severe tooth grinding will slowly cause the material to wear away and will not sufficiently protect your teeth. Less severe cases of bruxism may allow your mouthguard to last for a longer period.
If you are provided a mouthguard to treat obstructive sleep apnea, it will last for several years with proper care. However, it is important that you have a follow-up appointment a few weeks after receiving your mouthguard so that our team can ensure it is still fitted properly and adequately treating your symptoms. Our team will inspect the mouthguard during your regularly scheduled exams and discuss with you when it is in need of replacement.
Sleep apnea and bruxism can severely impact your quality of life and your overall health. However, there is no need for you to suffer from the symptoms of these disorders. If you are ready to improve your quality of life and find out if a nighttime mouthguard is right for you, it is time to come see our team at Rockton Dental. You can schedule your appointment by calling us at (815) 624-3269.