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Occlusal Guards - Night Guards

Hello again from the office of Dr. Alan Pan, today we are going to talk about a different type of preventative care that may have been offered to you: Night Guards. Known as Occlusal Guards in the dental field, Night Guards do what the name suggests, guard your teeth at night! However, they are protecting your teeth not from an external threat, but from yourself. Often our own worst enemy when it comes to our teeth, we can do a lot of damage over time if we have bad habits such as bruxism, or grinding and clenching your teeth.

Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw, a headache, or neck/ear pain? These could be symptoms of grinding or clenching your teeth at night. If left unchecked, bruxism can break teeth or fillings, wear down your enamel, increase your risk of decay, and cause all kinds of pain. Other symptoms include:

  1. Tooth Sensitivity
  2. Migraine Headaches
  3. Ringing in your ears
  4. Broken/fractured teeth
  5. Broken/Fractured restorations(E.G. Fillings or Crowns)
  6. Tooth Mobility
It is thought that the main cause of bruxism is stress. We all go through different levels of stress from work, kids, spouses, and a hundred other things. Anxiety and anger can also contribute greatly to bruxing.

So, if you are someone who grinds your teeth at night, you can either deal with the eventual consequences, you can cut out all stress from your life(super easy), or you can go to your dentist and have them make you a Night Guard. Night Guards can range from $300-$500 depending on materials and lab fees, but can save you $1000's in future dental bills from broken teeth and crowns. They do have Night Guards at your local pharmacy as well if you are on a trip and forget yours at home, but the ones that you buy are NOT the same quality as a one that is professionally made. They are not going to fit exactly, or last very long, so it is better to bite the bullet and pay the premium. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns, leave a comment, we would love to hear what you have to say!

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