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Address: 1400 Hawthorne Street, Suite 4, Alexandria, MN 56308

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(320) 763-7484
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Night Guard for Healthy Sleep

Patient using night guardSometimes patients need a little extra help to maintain a healthy set of teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities and diseases, but they cannot do much for stopping teeth from wearing down or cracking. Patients with these issues often come to us wondering how their teeth ended up in such bad shape. For many of them, the answer is bruxism. Bruxism involves the grinding of teeth, and can quickly wear down teeth, even causing them to crack or break on occasion. Most people with bruxism grind their teeth while they sleep. Dr. Joseph Haack can create a night guard for you that will cease the grinding, saving your teeth and allowing you a good night’s sleep.

If you would like to learn more about night guards, call our Alexandria, MN dental office today at (320) 763-7484 to request a consultation with Dr. Haack.

Do I have Bruxism?

Anybody can suffer from bruxism, from children to adults. According to the American Dental Association, bruxism affects up to 15 percent of American adults. Some people grind their teeth only on occasion, when they are feeling stress, while others have a chronic condition. Bruxism can cause people to wake up in the morning with dull headaches or jaw pain. It can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, receding gums, TMJ disorder, and temperature sensitivity. Eventually, teeth can wear down to the nerves, causing the patient severe pain. Some people even experience migraine headaches or back and neck pain.

A Night Guard Can Help

Most patients who suffer from bruxism grind their teeth while sleeping, and don’t even realize it. Your dentist can see the signs of bruxism in the wear and tear of your teeth, and can help in its diagnosis. Dr. Haack generally recommends that his patients with bruxism wear a night guard. Night guards fit just like a mouth guard you would wear for sports. They keep the top and bottom teeth from meeting, effectively eliminating the grinding.

If you would like to learn more about night guards, call our Alexandria, MN dental office today at (320) 763-7484 to request a consultation with Dr. Haack.

Types of Night Guards

If your dentist advises wearing a night guard as treatment for bruxism, you will have a few options available. These include:

  • Stock night guard – You can find this option in your local pharmacy, and it usually will not cost much money. Stock guards usually come in one size, and many patients find them bulky and uncomfortable. The guard may not provide a secure fit, and can actually fall out when grinding begins.
  • Boil and Bite – You can usually find these guards in pharmacies or your local sporting goods store. You simply place the guard in boiling water until it softens, then bite down on it, allowing it to conform to your bite. These guards typically fit better than stock guards, but may still fall out.
  • Custom Guard – Available only from your dentist, a custom guard provides the best fit and protection. The dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which he will forward to a U.S.-based dental lab. There, dental technicians will fabricate your guard. Because the guard comes custom fit for your mouth, it will stay in place all night, providing protection against grinding and allowing you to get a full night of comfortable sleep.

If you would like to learn more about night guards, call our Alexandria, MN dental office today at (320) 763-7484 to request a consultation with Dr. Haack.

 

Night Guards for Sleep Apnea

While most patients who wear night guards use them to treat bruxism, many turn to them as a treatment for sleep apnea. This condition results when the muscles around a patient’s throat and tongue relax, blocking the airway during sleep and causing the patient to stop breathing. While patients usually stop breathing for only a few seconds, the stoppage can last as long as a few minutes, and each instance pulls the patient out of deep sleep, leaving him feeling tired and fatigued even after a full night of sleep. This dangerous condition can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart problems.

Many doctors prescribe a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for their patients with sleep apnea. The machine involves wearing a mask that continuously blows air into your airway, keeping it unobstructed. Many patients find these machines bulky, noisy, and uncomfortable. Dr. Haack can provide a night guard specifically for sleep apnea patients who can’t get comfortable with the CPAP machine. The custom-made guard forces the lower jaw forward, keeping the airway open while the patient sleeps. The guard works wonderfully for patients with mild to moderate apnea.

Call Us for a Consultation

If you feel you may grind your teeth in your sleep or have sleep apnea, call our Alexandria, MN dental office today at (320) 763-7484 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Haack to discuss your night guard options.