An estimated 20% of Americans grind their teeth when they are asleep – a condition known as bruxism – and the most common treatment for this problem is prescribing a mouthguard at night, commonly referred to as a nightguard. Wearing a nightguard helps to prevent those living with bruxism from damaging their teeth, but it can also have some other benefits. Whether or not you have bruxism, wearing a nightguard may be able to help you sleep better!
Here are some of the ways a dental nightguard can help you sleep better:
Prevent Tooth Grinding
For people who grind their teeth at night, quality sleep can be hard to come by. Clenching the jaw prevents the jaw muscles from fully relaxing, which can interrupt the sleep cycle. This can also cause other issues during your waking hours, like muscle pain, headaches, and tooth damage. In some cases, grinding can even be loud enough to wake you up, preventing you from sleeping through the night.
Treating Excessive Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Some specific types of nightguards are designed to treat snoring and sleep apnea. By wearing a nightguard that moves the lower jaw forward during sleep, your airways will be more open, allowing you to breathe without snoring. It can also prevent sleep apnea, which is characterized by the upper airway becoming blocked at night. People living with this disorder may partially or completely stop breathing during sleep, causing them to abruptly awaken. Not only does this cycle prevent deep, restful sleep from being achieved, but it also puts a great deal of stress on the heart that can potentially be fatal.
Alleviating Pain from Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Bruxism and TMD – or TMJ, as it is often called – can be interrelated. Excessive tooth grinding during sleep causes pain in the jaw, neck, and face, as well as headaches that can persist throughout the day. By wearing a nightguard, you allow the jaw muscles to relax fully. Over time, this can alleviate TMD symptoms, many of which make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Nightguard Dentist in Chicago
If you are living with conditions like bruxism, snoring, sleep apnea, or TMD, a custom-made nightguard may be the solution you are looking for. The team of experienced dentists at American Dental can help to diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan, which may include a nightguard or other options. We can also assist you with a range of other oral health concerns.
Get in touch with us today if you need a nightguard or any other type of dental treatment, from emergency dentistry to cosmetic dentistry in Chicago. Click the “Make an Appointment” button to find a listing of our 8 Chicagoland locations and call the one that is most convenient for you. You can even schedule your appointment online in minutes! Getting high-quality sleep is one of the cornerstones of maintaining your overall health, so don’t wait to schedule your consultation at American Dental for a nightguard to help you sleep better.