What is an Occlusal Guard (Night Guard)?

Night Guard Evans, GA

Also known as night guards, occlusal guards are removable dental devices that fit over the teeth. Dentists recommend the device to protect the teeth and prevent deterioration caused by grinding and clenching during the night (the medical term for which is bruxism). Sometimes, tnight guards may be worn during the day if the patient’s condition is more complicated than normal teeth grinding issues.

Overview of an occlusal guard

An occlusal guard is an orthotic device designed specially for patients with teeth grinding issues, bite dysfunction or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. The device is custom-made from materials like vinyl, light-cured composite, soft acrylic or resin created with heat-cured acrylic. Night guards made from heat-cured acrylic for bruxism are the hardest and often the most resilient. Occlusal guards for children are usually made from softer materials because children's teeth and jaw sizes change as they grow.

During a dental appointment, the dentist will recommend an occlusal guard if they notice that the surfaces of teeth appear flatter than usual. Otherwise, patients need to talk to the dental professional if they always wake up with a headache, jaw pain, toothache or feel fatigued. Sometime, grinding or clenching the teeth might even cause pain in the gums and loosen the teeth from their sockets.

How occlusal guards work

The night guard does not treat the issue but functions as a preventative measure against more severe issues and symptoms that may result from excessive teeth grinding. If the symptoms are not addressed on time, more dental problems can occur, which may be as serious as fractured teeth or tooth loss. These more serious issues often cost more to correct in the long run compared to the price of getting an occlusal guard.

The night guard will prevent additional damages to the teeth. It limits the rate of deterioration to teeth surfaces by acting as a barrier or cushion between the upper and lower sets of teeth. The guard relaxes the jaws, ultimately reducing the force from clenching or grinding. This will ultimately protect the jaw joints from potential issues and keep teeth healthy and in good shape.

Getting an occlusal guard

If the dentist recommends getting an occlusal guard, the process may require two dental visits before the final product is available. The dentist will take impressions of the patient’s oral cavity. The mold or impression is then sent to a dental lab that will create a custom-fitted guard for the patient’s teeth.

During the second visit, the dentist will check the fitting of the guard and provide instructions for usage and maintenance. Usually, it takes a few weeks of regular usage for patients to get used to wearing the occlusal guard. After acclimating, most patients sleep easily while wearing a night guard. If the device continues to cause soreness or feels uncomfortable after the acclimation period, the patient may need to return to the dental office for adjustments.

In conclusion

With the occlusal guard, a dentist can mitigate the effects of teeth grinding in patients. If you suspect you might need a night guard, visit the dentist for a consultation.

Request an appointment here: https://www.belairdentalassociates.com or call Belair Dental Associates at (706) 426-5520 for an appointment in our Evans office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Night Guards in Evans, GA.

Recent Posts

What Materials Are Used In A Night Guard?

A night guard is a device designed for people who grind their teeth while they are sleeping to prevent damage to their teeth. A custom night guard from a dentist is different than the average store-bought mouth guard, as the materials chosen are typically more durable and provide a more comfortable fit. Read on to…

Pros And Cons Of A Dental Night Guard For Teeth Clenching

Wondering if a night guard is right for you? While many people who clench their teeth can use behavior modification techniques in order to stop clenching their teeth throughout the day, those who clench their teeth at night do not have any control over doing so. Ready to learn more about how dental night guards…

Use A Night Guard To Protect Your Teeth While Sleeping

If you habitually grind your teeth while sleeping, wearing a night guard each night is a great way to protect them. These devices reduce the stress put on teeth when grinding, and this leads to less damage as a result of bruxism.Night guards do not actually do anything to prevent or treat bruxism. Teeth grinding…

Why A Dentist Would Recommend You Wear A Mouth Guard While Playing Sports

If you participate in a contact sport, you should see a dentist for a custom-made mouth guard. This article explains how mouth guards prevent dental injuries from sports-related activities.According to the American Dental Association, sports are responsible for approximately a third of all dental emergencies. With fast speeds, flying objects, and passionate players, the teeth…

Recent Posts

How Dental Bridges Can Improve Your Smile

How Dental Bridges Can Improve Your Smile

For people who have missing teeth, dental bridges can be used to improve the appearance and restore the function of their teeth. This treatment is particularly beneficial for patients who have one or more missing front teeth.A bridge consists of crowns that are placed on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth that provide…

How Long Does A Dental Cleaning Take?

How Long Does A Dental Cleaning Take?

If you have not undergone a dental cleaning in over six months, it is time to go for a dental cleaning. Dental professionals recommend undergoing dental cleaning every six months to prevent oral issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Due to your schedule, you might be concerned about how long the cleaning appointment…

You may now conveniently SCHEDULE ONLINE here now!