James C Feng
Downtown LA DDS
Who needs NightGuards?
Nightguards are designed to put your jaws in a relaxed position during sleep. Many professionals, due to stress, clench and grind their teeth at night. This behavior, often unnoticed, results in jaw tiredness, jaw pain, teeth wear, gum recession, sensitive teeth and often times broken teeth and fillings. Dentists will often find clues during routine examination and will recommend a nightguard to protect the teeth and jaw.
The best nightguard is made by the dentist because they are custom made, fitted and adjusted. Also, professionally made nightguards are made of completely solid acrylic which makes it last longer and prevents chewing. Over-the-counter nightguards are available but it's made of a softer material so it's moldable. The molding you do yourself is not precise enough and can lead to further problems so it's not advised.
Almost all patients who uses nightguard become so comfortable with it that they can't sleep well without it. The process takes about a week to two weeks. Since each nightguard is custom made, we take molds of your upper and lower teeth and a jaw relation record. These molds are sent to a special lab who specializes in making sleep appliances. The result is a retainer-like mouthpiece that fits precisely over your upper teeth that will, often times, save your jaw, TMJ and your teeth. If you think you need a nightguard, consult your dentist. People who have sleep apnea can sometimes benefit from a variation of the nightguard. Sleep apnea appliances are made by the dentist and may help individuals who cannot tolerate the CPAP machines during sleep. Our office in downtown Los Angeles have helped hundreds of patients with such issues.
Written by Dr. James C. Feng, Los Angeles, CA