August 02, 2023 • 15 mins read

The Science Behind Prescribed Night Guards and Dental Health

Prescribed night guards are important for maintaining dental health by protecting teeth and jaws. Learn about their science and impact on dental well-being.



Danielle Duncan

Prescribed Night Guards and Dental Health

By: Danielle Duncan

Prescribed night guards are an essential tool in maintaining optimal dental health. These custom-made devices, recommended by dentists, serve a vital purpose in protecting our teeth and jaws. Today we will delve into the science behind a prescribed mouth guard, and how they work and their impact on dental well-being.

Understanding the Role of Night Guards

Night guards, also known as occlusal splints or bite guards, are dental appliances designed to address various oral health concerns. One of the most commonly seen is a sleep apnea mouth guard or mouth guards meant to treat TMD patients. They are primarily used to treat bruxism, a condition characterized by teeth grinding and clenching during sleep. Bruxism can lead to worn enamel, jaw pain, headaches, and other dental problems.

Custom made night guards created by dental professionals act as a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. By absorbing the forces created during teeth grinding, these guards reduce the damage caused to the tooth’s surface, jaw joints, and surrounding muscles.

Prescribed Night Guards and Dental Health
The Science Behind Night Guards

Prescribed night guards are typically made from high-quality, biocompatible materials such as acrylic. They are custom-created to fit each patient’s unique dental structure, ensuring maximum comfort and effectiveness. Dentists take precise impressions of the patient’s teeth, which are then used to fabricate the night guard.

One key aspect of night guards is their ability to distribute the forces exerted during teeth grinding evenly. By providing a cushioning effect, these guards help minimize the impact on teeth and prevent excessive wear. Additionally, the comfortable fit of a prescribed night guard encourages proper jaw alignment, reducing strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ or TMD).

Besides protecting teeth and joints, night guards promote better airflow and reduce snoring, and they can also help open the airway in the case of a dental mouth guard for sleep apnea. As the guard prevents the lower jaw from falling back during sleep, it helps keep the airway open, allowing for improved breathing and a more restful sleep.

Benefits of Prescribed Night Guards

Prescribed night guards offer numerous benefits for overall dental health of patients:

1. Protection Against Tooth Damage

By acting as a cushion, night guards safeguard teeth from the harmful effects of grinding and clenching, preventing enamel erosion and reducing the risk of fractures and tooth sensitivity.

2. Alleviation of Jaw Pain and Headaches

By providing proper alignment and reducing pressure on the TMJ, night guards can alleviate jaw pain, headaches, and muscle soreness associated with bruxism.

3. Improved Sleep Quality

Night guards not only protect teeth but also promote better sleep by reducing snoring and improving airflow. A more restful sleep can have positive effects on overall well-being.

Incorporating Night Guards into Your Dental Routine

If you want to expand your dental practice to include night guards for your sleep and TMD patients, it’s as easy as 1.2.3 with Ripple and the Imagn Sleep Software. Our expert team is standing by to help you navigate the implementation of dental sleep medicine and expanding the availability of custom night guards for your patients. 

Remember, educating your patients wearing their night guards consistently, practicing proper care and maintenance of the night guard, and explaining how their custom night guard is crucial to preserving dental health. By acting as a protective barrier, these custom-made devices prevent teeth grinding, alleviate jaw pain, and improve sleep quality. Take our free assessment to see how Imagn Sleep and Ripple will look in your practice today! 

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