Do you experience head and neck muscle tension? In some cases, it may be because of bruxism. Sometimes, additional measures are required to fully address muscle tension. One such solution could be wearing a night guard. In today’s blog, your Cleveland, TX, dentist explains how this simple oral appliance can have a significant impact on both relieving muscle soreness and improving oral health.
What Is a Night Guard?
A night guard, also known as an occlusal guard, is a custom-made dental appliance made of hard or soft plastic. It is designed to be worn during sleep, covering either the upper or lower teeth. They are primarily used to address bruxism, a condition characterized by clenching or grinding of teeth during sleep. However, they offer additional benefits beyond preventing dental damage.
Relieving Muscle Tension
One of the main benefits of using a night guard is its ability to alleviate muscle tension, especially in the jaw and facial area. Tension from the jaw can transfer to the neck which can create a chain reaction affecting more than just facial structures. Bruxism often leads to overworked muscles, resulting in soreness, headaches, and even temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). Wearing a night guard can provide a cushioning effect, reducing the force exerted on the teeth and minimizing stress on the jaw muscles.
By creating a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, a night guard helps to relax the muscles and prevent them from clenching or grinding together. This relaxation can lead to a significant reduction in muscle tension and associated pain. As a result, individuals who regularly wear night guards often experience improved sleep quality and a decrease in headaches and jaw pain.
Protecting Dental Structures
As you may know, wearing an occlusal guard can also protect your teeth and expensive dental restorations. The constant grinding or clenching of teeth can cause enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and even fractures. If you have dental implants, they are very rigid and can harm the occluding teeth. A night guard is strongly recommended to protect the implant and the occluding teeth. By forming a protective barrier, a night guard absorbs the forces generated during bruxism, thereby minimizing the risk of damage. Investing in a night guard can extend the lifespan of your dental restoration and prevent the need for costly repairs or replacements.
Schedule A Night Guard Consultation
Wearing a night guard can be a simple but effective solution to relieve muscle tension, alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, and improve overall oral health. Whether you’re dealing with jaw pain, headaches, or dental damage caused by teeth grinding, a night guard can offer much-needed relief and protection. To determine if this appliance is right for you, call our dental office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also proudly serve patients and their families from Kingwood, New Caney, Conroe, Livingston, Huffman, and all surrounding communities.