Nightguards Greenbelt

Protect Teeth & Relieve Pain

Woman talking to her dentist about nightguards in Greenbelt

Keeping patients’ smiles whole, happy, and healthy is important to the McCarl Dental Group, PC team. That means helping to educate our patients about the importance of using protective mouthguards to prevent dental damage. If you notice that your teeth look worn, your jaw hurts in the morning, or you have very deep pits in the biting surfaces of teeth, chances are you’re struggling with teeth grinding (bruxism), and it’s time to talk to the McCarl Dental Group, PC team about protecting your smile with a custom nightguard in Greenbelt.

What Is Bruxism?

Dentist wearing dental binoculars while talking to a patient

Bruxism is an unconscious condition that causes people to grind or clench their teeth. In most cases, people experience bruxism while they’re sleeping, so unless someone hears you grinding your teeth, you may not even know it’s happening. Some people also grind and clench teeth during the day, but this is usually connected with stress, jaw misalignment, or other concerns that can be addressed through lifestyle changes or dental treatment. Nighttime teeth grinding and clenching  may also be linked to stress or bite alignment concerns, but for some people, this is a lifelong, unconscious habit.

What Happens If I Don’t Treat Bruxism?

Senior man in dental chair

Failing to treat chronic bruxism can lead to a wide range of oral health concerns as well as serious dental damage like chips and cracks in the surfaces of teeth. Over time, teeth begin to look shorter as the enamel on the biting surface slowly wears away. Additionally, patients can develop deeper pits and grooves in the biting surfaces of their teeth. 

Untreated bruxism can also lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, which is often referred to as TMJ or TMD. This occurs when the TMJ (small joints that connect the jaw and skull) are damaged or strained. When patients grind and clench their teeth at night, they are increasing their risk of damaging these jaw joints. 

How Do Nightguards Help?

Dentist showing a computer monitor to a patient

To protect teeth from the damage caused by unconscious grinding and clenching, your dentist will likely recommend that you wear a nightguard while you sleep. These guards place a thin, protective barrier of plastic between the rows of teeth. This allows you to continue moving your teeth during sleep while reducing the risk of dental damage.

Why Should I Use A Custom Nightguard?

Dental patient trying on a nightguard

There are many types of nightguards available to purchase over the counter, but these products are often made of low-quality materials and need to be replaced frequently. Custom nightguards from your dentist are made from stronger plastic that is custom-molded to fit your bite, ensuring total comfort. The initial investment is a little higher, but a custom nightguard will outlast any store-bought appliance, and the comfort of a custom-fitted oral appliance means you’re much more likely to use your nightguard as directed.