Very few types of pain can compare to the discomfort associated with bruxism. If you’re included in the 8% of Americans who struggle with nighttime teeth grinding, you likely are seeking help finding a reliable solution to your painful problem. We are going to educate you about upper or lower night guard as a solution to your issue.
The fact is, bruxism is so much more than just a sleep disorder; it’s a serious medical condition that can significantly affect your quality of life. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to severe complications such as permanent damage to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and possible temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
Because of the elevated risk to your jaw and jaw muscles, it’s incredibly important not to ignore bruxism. If you’re looking for a safe and dependable solution for your teeth grinding, an upper or lower dental night guard (also called a mouthguard) may be your answer.
Choosing a Dental Night Guard: Upper or Lower Night Guard
When it comes to choosing a dental night guard for your bruxism, you have a choice of a guard for your upper teeth or a guard for your lower teeth. Whichever you decide on, it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. While some people strongly prefer an upper night guard, others go with a lower mouthguard. The type you select depends on a few different things.
If your dentist has recommended an upper guard or lower night guard, that can simplify your decision. Nevertheless, you still should be aware of the benefits of choosing one over the other. And even if your dental provider didn’t give you suggestions, it’s still essential to make an informed decision about which mouthguard you choose. That way, you can be confident that you’ll be happy with the results.
Pros and cons of an upper mouthguard
Both types of night guards come with their own share of benefits of a night guard. Dentists are more likely to advise an upper mouthguard to their patients. It doesn’t block their tongue, making it more comfortable. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that it’s for everyone. An upper mouth guard can trigger a gag reflex in sensitive individuals.
Pros and cons of a lower mouthguard
While a lower guard can feel clumsy in your mouth as you get used to it, it’s considered better for people who struggle with obstructive sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
The bottom line is that both devices have their advantages and pitfalls, and you won’t find a blanket answer as to which you should choose. Either night guard can offer an excellent solution to protect your teeth against the harmful effects of teeth grinding and clenching.
If One Mouthguard Is Good, Are Two Better?
With all of the known advantages of using either an upper or lower dental night guard for your bruxism, you may wonder if you could somehow boost this device’s effectiveness. If using a single mouthguard has all of these benefits, doesn’t it make logical sense to cram two of them into your mouth before you go to bed at night?
In a word, no. Not only is using two mouthguards not likely to help you, but doing this can actually be more harmful than helpful. First, wearing two mouthguards will feel extremely uncomfortable. You could also worsen your jaw pain and sore jaw if you attempt to use two mouthguards, as it can cause unnecessary strain in your mouth.
Secondly, attempting to use two mouthguards can increase your risk of accidental suffocation. If you struggle with sleep apnea, using two mouthguards can endanger your life by cutting off your airflow completely. Using an upper and a lower mouthguard can also pose a choking hazard, particularly if you’re prone to gagging. In the case of dental night guards, less is absolutely more.
Custom Fit Versus Generic Night Guards
Once you learn that you need a night guard for your nocturnal bruxism, it can be tempting to want to rush to your nearest big-box store or pharmacy and pick up a generic night guard. Nobody wants to sit around and wait for their dentist to make a mouthguard when they’re eager to start their treatment. However, be patient with this decision. There are a few things you should consider before choosing between generic and custom-fit night guards.
A generic mouthguard can be faster and less expensive than a custom-fitted mouthguard. While the cost of an OTC night guard is lower, though, so is its quality. In other words, when it comes to mouthguards, you get what you pay for. Sure, you can grab a random one from the shelves, but you’ll ultimately wind up prolonging your problems if you decide to go that route.
What makes a custom-fit dental night guard better? While a generic night guard uses a uniform template, a custom night guard is crafted to fit your unique mouth shape. It’s created from an impression of your teeth, helping to ensure that the final product is a perfect fit for you.
Unlike an over-the counter night guard, which can shift and move around inside your mouth, a custom dental night guard will feel comfortable and secure. This can reduce your risk of small yet painful sores in your mouth, which could arise from a poorly fitted night guard.
Yes, you may wind up waiting a couple more days for your custom-fitted mouthguard. However, the benefits of going this route are numerous. Not only can you reduce your chances of developing abrasions on your gums, but it can also minimize any concerns of your dental night guard from slipping out of your mouth as you sleep. Without a doubt, a custom-fitted dental night guard is vastly superior over a generic, OTC one.
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Confidence With Selecting Your Night Guard
Nobody should ever have to suffer from the complications caused by bruxism, yet many people still postpone their treatment. Whether they don’t realize how dangerous their condition is or they’re simply unaware of how much a mouthguard can actually help them, the procrastination of securing a mouthguard severely harms their teeth and jaw.
If you’re tired of waking up with a sore jaw, then a custom night guard from Pro Teeth Guard may be exactly what you need to help you find lasting relief from your bruxism. By starting treatment with a nighttime mouthguard, you can finally experience a morning that’s free from dental pain.