Is what happens while you sleep causing damage to your teeth? A custom-designed mouth guard could be the treatment solution you need to keep your smile happy and healthy!
At Smile Design Manhattan located in Midtown West, New York City, our team of experienced dental providers custom design mouth guards to help treat different conditions, like sleep apnea and teeth grinding.
Read on to learn about the many benefits of mouth guards!
What is a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is simply an oral appliance that you wear over your teeth. It’s sometimes called a snore guard when used to treat sleep apnea.
At Smile Design Manhattan, we custom design your mouth or snore guard to fit you. By taking an impression of your teeth using a dental mold, the design lab can fabricate a guard that comfortably fits your mouth and teeth.
What conditions can a mouth guard treat?
Most people know mouth guards can protect your teeth during high-impact activities. But did you know they also help protect against conditions that arise while you sleep? Here’s a look at two conditions a mouth guard can treat: teeth grinding and sleep apnea.
About one in three Americans experience teeth grinding, or bruxism. If you grind your teeth, you may not know you’re doing it since it most often happens while you’re sleeping.
Some indications you may grind your teeth are chronic headaches, earaches, a tight or sore face, neck, or upper or lower jaw pain. Long-term effects of teeth grinding can be dangerous and include:
- Wearing teeth down to stumps
- Fracturing of teeth
- Loss or loosening of teeth
- Ongoing health problems in the jaw
- Changing the appearance of your face
- Causing or worsening TMJ disorders
People who grind their teeth while they sleep are also more likely to suffer from other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder affecting approximately 18 million Americans. It causes you to stop breathing for a period of time while asleep. The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the muscles in your throat relax and close off your airway, leading to snoring and periods of time when you stop breathing while you sleep.
Central sleep apnea is less common and occurs when your brain fails to send the breathing signals to the muscles in your throat, causing you to stop breathing. Some people have both central and obstructive sleep apnea. This is called complex sleep apnea syndrome.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a number of serious complications, including:
- Anxiety, depression, and ADHD
- Memory trouble
- Increased risk of auto and occupational accidents
- Heart disease and hypertension
How can a mouth guard help teeth grinding and sleep apnea?
Mouth guards work differently to treat both teeth grinding and sleep apnea. Here’s a closer look at how they work to prevent these common conditions from worsening.
How guards help teeth grinding
A mouth guard from Smile Design Manhattan keeps your teeth separated when you’re asleep. You may still have the impulse to grind or clench your teeth; however, a mouth guard provides a softer surface for your teeth to grind against. As a result, the mouth guard reduces the damage teeth grinding causes to your teeth.
How guards help sleep apnea
Custom-designed snore guards from Smile Design Manhattan help treat sleep apnea by exerting force on your lower jaw. By pushing your jaw and tongue forward, the snore guard stops the muscles in your throat from closing. This allows you to breathe easier all night long.
And unlike bulky CPAP machines, the traditional treatment for sleep apnea, snore guards are more comfortable, easier to clean and store, and more convenient to take with you when you’re sleeping away from home.
How can I learn more about mouth guards?
If you believe you suffer from sleep apnea or teeth grinding, it’s important to talk to your provider at Smile Design Manhattan. Both conditions, if left untreated, can lead to significant oral and overall health complications. Our team evaluates your symptoms and creates a customized treatment plan to meet your unique needs.
If you’re ready to learn more about the many benefits of mouth guards, contact Smile Design Manhattan’s Midtown West office or call 646-328-4401 and schedule a consultation today!