Mouth Guards & Sleep Apnea

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Put your guard up… for your teeth!

Often the difference between years of expensive and time-consuming dental treatment and healthy teeth is a little piece of plastic. Whether protecting the teeth when playing contact sports or sleeping, mouth guards play an important role in keeping teeth healthy for a lifetime.

If you are in need of a protective mouthguard for sports or sleep, contact Paloma Dental today to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Bassett.

What are sports guards?

If you’re an athlete, you’re no stranger to protective equipment.  Unfortunately, Dr. Bassett has seen many people who lose teeth due to playing sports. Sports guards can be the difference between a flawless smile and an expensive corrective dental procedure.

Sports guards are plastic mouthpieces that fit sandwiched between the upper and lower teeth. Although some contact sports require the use of sports guards, Dr. Bassett may recommend wearing a sports guard during any sport or game that may put you at risk for a dental injury.

Why do so many people wear night guards?

Mouth guards can be worn at night to help prevent damage that can come as a result of clenching and teeth grinding. Consistent pressure and grinding can eventually cause pain and wear on your teeth. For the best possible fit, we can custom fit a mouth guard to provide the highest level of comfort. While it may seem cumbersome to wear a mouth guard each night, it is worth preventing the following issues:

  • Jaw pain
  • Worn down teeth
  • Damaged enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Headaches from clenching and pressure

How can night guards help with my sleep?

One of the most irritating effects of sleep-disordered breathing is the snoring that comes with it.  Oral appliances used to alleviate the airway issues resemble a mouth guard but have a slightly more sophisticated function. The most significant difference between a basic mouthguard and an oral appliance for sleep apnea is the positioning. A regular mouth guard for protective purposes is positioned as a normal bite, while an appliance for sleep apnea puts the teeth in a forward position to keep the upper airway open. With a more open upper airway, you can experience sounder, quieter sleep without breathing or snoring issues. This is a great option to try before resorting to surgical methods or large equipment.

Oral appliances such as these are customized to your teeth for your comfort. Once your mouthpiece is has been made, you will return to Paloma Dental for a final fitting. Dr. Bassett will adjust your appliance to make sure it fits snug yet comfortable. She will show you how to care for your oral appliance in between wears.

By treating your sleep disorder, you may be surprised how good you feel after a few restful nights. Many people with sleep apnea don’t even realize that it plays a major factor in how much deep sleep they get every night, therefore playing a direct role in their energy levels and brain function.

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