What is a Night Guard and do I need one?
Night Guard Smiles Peru
A guard or oclusal splint, night guard, interocclusal splint or orthopedic removable device, are a form of treatment for bruxism. This intraoral device keeps the upper and lower arch separate helping the masticatory muscles relax. The night guard is generally made of acrylic that fits to the teeth of either arch giveing an accurate contact with antagonist teeth. Rigid guards are made of see-through acrylic for use on the upper jaw. Soft guards are of a flexible material that adjusts to the teeth. Soft guards are recommended for patients with severe bruxism.
What do Night Guards do?
- Help dispel the forces produced during bruxism.
- Change muscular closure putting the lower jaw in a proper position.
- Decrease joint loading
- Condyle reposition: the guards are made on centric relation, repositioning the condyles and decreasing muscle hyperactivity.
- Vertical dimension increases – this becomes an advantage if the patient has a decreased vertical dimension.
Smiles Peru Semi-rigid Night Guard
Night Guard for TMJ
Night Guards are also recommended as a theurapeutic treatment plan for TMJ (Temporomandibular joint). For this exist different kinds of devices using different materials. They can be classified according to:
- Function: Muscle relaxation, jaw reposition, distractor and protection flat.
- Therapeutic purposes: with or without modification of the programed condylar position.
- Coverage: Total or partial.
- Hardness: rigid, guard, semi-rigid and soft.
Smiles Peru TMJ Night Guard