What is the first thing you do when you return home from outside? Taking off your shoes, perhaps and immersing yourself with a comfort of your sweet home I suppose. It is customary to say going bare feet is most comfortable. But why do we put on at least a flip flop if not a sturdy pair of shoes as we go outside is because we know our feet will not last long without the proper protection.
Have you ever thought about wearing a night guards for your teeth as a way of protecting your teeth to last longer as wearing shoes is important for out feet to last longer?
While you are not aware what’s going on during your sleep, there are clear evidence in your oral cavity that shows clenching(pressing down the teeth hard) and/or grinding(moving your jaw side to side while pressing down on the teeth hard).
There is no single person who are exception to this parafunctional acitivity ; since when we sleep, our lower jaw and the tongue that’s attached to the jaw fall back causing airway obstruction and as our survival reflex mechanism will make us to do so to open up our airway in the throat area(oropharyngeal airway).
The time compounding effects of grinding on the teeth are visible on the lower front teeth with shortened or worn enamel layer on the top and the evidence of clenching is scalloped tongue, worn enamel on the molars, and creased lines on the teeth.Most people are not aware of these subtle changes in their teeth since it doesn’t happen overnight.
There are multiple factors that will make our airway smaller such as soft palate and throat muscle relaxation due to alcohol consumption, weight gain, allergy, enlarged tonsils, tongue tiedness, recessed lower jaw position, etc.
In fact, we often get our patients surprised when we show the evidence of grinding and clenching in their teeth since most people pay attention only to their smiling teeth but not their entire teeth under magnification like dentists would do.
Yes, it is not easy to get used to wearing a Night guard but when it is made in a proper design, it will give you a better airway patency and definitely a protection of your teeth to last longer.So just like wearing your shoes before going outside, wear your night guard before going to sleep!
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