Night guards are remarkable devices used for a variety of purposes. They are designed to protect the patient’s teeth and dental work from damage due to teeth grinding at night. Night guards also reduce the level of tension placed on the TMJ due to the patient clenching his or her jaw while asleep. Guards also help to open up the airway in the back of the patient’s throat, which can make breathing while asleep more effortless and reduce snoring. Generally speaking, most people who suffer from bruxism and/or TMJ disorder can benefit from wearing night guards while they sleep.
There are several different types of night guards – also referred to as “mouth guards” – available. In fact, many sporting goods stores and drug stores carry generic, one-size-fits all night guards, as well as guard devices that are moldable for a better fit. But Dr. Mobley advises her patients to visit her before purchasing an over-the-counter night guard for two reasons: 1) you should receive an actual diagnosis of bruxism and/or TMJ disorder before attempting to treat the condition, and 2) the night guards that are custom-made and made available by Dr. Mobley are always more effective than a generic, over-the-counter product.
One type of appliance that Dr. Mobley provides for her patients is particularly helpful for people with snoring issues. It’s a mandibular splint that, when worn by the patient while sleeping, works by positioning the lower jaw in a forward position. This repositions the jaw, helps to reestablish a proper bite, and assists the patient in achieving a more sound night’s sleep.
To find out more about our dental services, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Megan Mobley, contact our Austin, TX office today.