How Do Sleep Guards Work?
As a removable oral appliance, occlusal guards sit over the teeth to prevent grinding or clenching the jaw during sleep. Clenching or grinding your teeth chips or wears away your enamel, and that damage can lead to further issues. Occlusal guards protect your teeth, jaw muscles, and jaw joint while you sleep.
Dr. Samadian and his San Francisco team recommend sleep guards for patients who experience jaw pain, have a TMD diagnosis, and even for snoring, as the guard can be customized to prevent the vibration of the soft tissues at the back of your throat which contribute to snoring. Patients with veneers may also consider occlusal guards to protect their teeth from grinding damage.
What are the Benefits of a Sleep Guard?
The prevention of tooth damage.
Your upper teeth have no contact with your lower teeth, so there’s no chance of damaging your enamel. Your teeth will be less sensitive, your existing fillings will remain undamaged, and you save yourself from dental repairs.
Securing constant airflow
Oral appliances are often used to open up your airway. For this purpose, Dr. Samadian will create a personalized oral appliance. The oral appliance will then work on bringing your tongue and jaw forward, thus opening up your airway and providing a constant airflow. The tissue will no longer collapse and narrow your airway while you fill your lungs with fresh air. The most popular oral appliances are mandibular repositioning devices. Dr. Samadian will make the decision on which oral appliance fits your needs the best and will provide the best results possible.
Stop waking up with headaches and tiredness.
Being unaware of grinding and clenching while you sleep means you can’t voluntarily stop, and so your jaw joints and muscles are fatigued night after night. This tension causes pain in your head, ears, or neck, and in general reduces restorative sleep. A guard can absorb the energy of clenching, taking strain off your muscles and joints. Wake up refreshed instead of in pain.
Reduce jaw pain and tension with a sleep guard.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the most active during clenching, which can lead to incorrect alignment and a diagnosis of TMJ dysfunction (TMD). An occlusal guard reduces the stress on this joint and muscles so your jaw can relax, giving the TMJ much needed relief.