Night guards are commonly used in the treatment of teeth grinding, teeth clenching or even snoring. These are harmful (and disruptive) sleep habits that a dentist is qualified to treat. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can wreak havoc on your oral health, such as wearing down teeth, causing jaw pain and much more. The problem is that night guards for bruxism and snoring are now available online. Many patients are lured by the convenience and cost-savings of simply ordering an oral appliance through the mail instead of actually seeing a dentist. This is a mistake, and some consider it downright unlawful.
A physical visit at your dental office is the best and safest place to go when you need a night guard, and here’s why:
Custom Fit is Key
A night guard that you order off the Internet simply has no way of fitting your teeth and bite like one your dentist fabricates. A dentist takes precise measurements of your bite so that the night guard fits over every crevice and groove. This is important for comfort as well as effectiveness. A mouth guard of any kind is not any use if it comes out of place. In fact, many mail-order night guards are “boil and bite” models. These are made of squishy material that may even trigger more teeth grinding. Or a patient may bite down tightly on an ill-fitting night guard in an effort to keep it in place – again, defeating the purpose altogether.
Sleep Apnea Ignored
One of the most important reasons to let a dentist address your nighttime oral habits is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common but very serious condition that needs to be treated by a professional. Unfortunately, sleep apnea is often accompanied by snoring and bruxism. If you try “Do-It-Yourself” treatment for these symptoms, you may be failing to address the root cause and letting your sleep apnea go untreated.
Durability, Long-Term Savings
A night guard you purchase online isn’t going to be monitored or followed-up by your dentist for safety and effectiveness. In addition, it probably won’t last as long as the top-quality materials you’ll find from a professional. This means less money saved in the long-run and more risk to your oral health.
Have you been told you grind your teeth at night or snore loudly? Perhaps you wake up with a sore jaw or tension headache? Avoid the temptation to order online and let a board-certified dentist help. Call Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta.