Night and Snore Guards
Excessive jaw clenching and bruxism (grinding of teeth) can accelerate tooth and jaw deterioration. Meanwhile, snoring can impact the quality of your own sleep and that of those around you. To help our patients most comfortably avoid this, we customize snore and night guards to their bite. The occlusal (night) guard fits to either the upper or lower teeth and provides a hard barrier to prevent teeth from grinding. Another benefit is the space between the teeth when biting down created by the occlusal guard does not allow for the muscles responsible for closing the mouth to contact fully and can help to "de-program" the muscles and relax tension to reduce headaches and pain that patients may experience, especially in the morning. Snore guards (i.e. Silent Night appliance) are basically two occlusal guards that are connected by a plastic connector on the right and left side. The plastic connector causes the lower jaw to protrude further forward than normal, thereby creating more space for the tongue to sit in the floor of the mouth and subsequently a larger space for air transmission and ultimately reduction in snoring. The snore guard secondarily helps to prevent grinding being that there are barriers from the portions that cover the teeth. This can be a life-changing appliance for "bruxers," people who grind their teeth at night. The reason is that bruxers commonly lose vertical dimension height (decreased length when measuring distance between nose and chin) due to their grinding and loss of tooth structure. This reduction in space decreases the amount of space for the tongue in the mouth and ultimately increases the chances for snoring/sleep issues.
What are the causes of teeth grinding?
Stress or anxiety
Obstructive sleep apnea
Certain medications or recreational drugs
What are the causes of snoring?
Sleeping on your back
When the larynx is compressed by a relaxed jaw
Large tonsils or a long soft palate
Tongue relaxing in the back of the throat and closing off/partially blocking the larynx to prevent for proper airflow