Does a Snoring Nightguard Work?

We’ve all been there. You wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone snoring and lay awake trying to block out the noise. According to the Sleep Foundation, “snoring affects roughly 90 million adults nationwide” and is a chronic issue for many. But not only does snoring effect the sleep of others, it effects the snorer’s sleep quality as well. Prolonged snoring episodes may lead to increased tiredness, trouble focusing, and may be a symptom of other sleep-related issues like sleep apnea.

Luckily, snoring doesn’t have to be a life-long problem. There are easy solutions available to alleviate snoring, and help you, and those around you, get a better night’s sleep.

What Causes Snoring?

Contrary to popular belief, snoring usually doesn’t have to do with your nose. In most cases, snoring is the result of a restricted or blocked airway due to the relaxation of the throat and tongue that happen during deep sleep. As the throat relaxes, the airway becomes smaller and the vibrating tissues cause the noise. Snoring may also be caused when the tongue blocks the throat leading to a similar restriction of airflow. While there’s no one-size-fits all diagnosis as to why people snore, snoring can be attributed to weight gain, alcohol use, and upper respiratory congestion among other factors.

Along with lifestyle solutions like weight-loss, healthy eating, and allergy medications, snoring is most often treated by using a specially designed snoring nightguard to help minimize symptoms and aid in restful sleep.

How Do Snoring Nightguards Work?

Snoring nightguards are generally divided into two categories: Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) and Tongue Stabilization Devices (TSDs). Both of these devices work by increasing the opening at the back of the throat, and therefore increasing overall airflow. Depending on the structure of your mouth and teeth, you may find that one device is more effective than the other to address your particular needs.

Tongue Stabilization Devices

TSDs are designed to keep the tongue in place during sleep, and prevent it from blocking your airway. TSDs are designed to position the tongue in the front of the mouth by attaching to the tip of the tongue and holding it in place. TSDs are typically a better choice for individuals who suffer from jaw pain or have unresolved dental issues.

Pros

  • Suitable for people with small mouths or jaw issues.
  • Since they are less intrusive than MADs, TSDs work for individuals with other dental devices like orthodontics or implants.
  • TSDs have a straightforward, ready-to-use design.

Cons

  • Since TSDs restrict the tongue, they may cause excessive saliva to build up leading to drooling.
  • TSDs may be uncomfortable for some sleep positions since they sit at the front of the mouth.
  • TRDs are “one size fits all” so may be uncomfortable for some individuals depending on the structure of the mouth.

Mandibular Advancement Devices

MADs are designed to move the jaw forward, causing the back of the throat and airway to open up during sleep. MADs fit into the mouth like a standard night guard, and offer adjustable leverage to shift the position of the jaw. Some MADs are made using a boil and bite method, which softens the plastic so you can customize it to fit the contours of your teeth, while others are even more highly customized, providing a snug and accurate fit.

Pros

  • MADs are customizable, which makes them more comfortable for long-term use. Both boil and bite varieties and custom-manufactured varieties are available.
  • Since MADs are worn like retainers, they are comfortable for any sleep position.
  • Unlike TSDs, MADs serve the dual purpose of preventing teeth grinding as well as minimizing snoring.

Cons

  • MADs are not a suitable option for individuals with other dental appliances like braces or implants.
  • Because they change the position of the jaw, MADs may lead to side effects like jaw pain and shifting teeth.
  • MADs are typically slightly more expensive than TSDs, owing to their customization.

Bid Snoring Goodnight

Both TSDs and MADs are great solutions to help minimize snoring and encourage a healthy, restful, night’s sleep. At Dental Lab Direct, we offer custom-made MADs, built to provide long-lasting snoring relief. DLD’s three step ordering process makes acquiring your new snoring-prevention device a breeze. Once you receive the impression kit in the mail, all you need to do is take an impression of your teeth and mail it back to us! Then, your custom-fitted MAD will be delivered to your door. With a custom-made device from Dental Lab Direct, you can bid snoring goodnight!

What Are the Best Over the Counter Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding?

There’s no doubt that life nowadays is stressful, and as a result we are grinding our teeth more than ever. According to a New York Times article, incidences of teeth grinding have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, owing to general increased levels of stress and anxiety nationwide. While a little clenching and grinding might not seem like a big deal, bruxism can become quite serious when left unchecked. Unattended bruxism may lead to sensitive teeth, damaged teeth, and may increase the likelihood of cavities developing in damaged areas.

So how can you protect your smile and improve your sleep? The simple answer is by wearing a mouth guard. Over-the-counter mouth guards are an effective and accessible way to treat bruxism without making a trip to the dentist’s office. If you’re looking for fast relief, investing in an over-the-counter mouth guard will help mitigate your symptoms in a matter of days.

Like many dental appliances, there are multiple varieties of over-the-counter mouth guards to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common varieties, and explored the pros and cons each one has to offer.

How Do I Know I Have Bruxism?

First things first, let’s talk about some of the signs and symptoms of bruxism. Often caused by grinding teeth due to anxiety and stress, the symptoms of bruxism generally manifest in the neck, jaw and face.

Symptoms include:

  • Soreness in the jaw.
  • Limited mobility opening and closing the mouth.
  • Headaches and neck aches from tense muscles.
  • Sensitivity in the teeth.
  • Worn or damaged enamel.
  • Cracked teeth.

If you suspect you might be suffering from bruxism, make an appointment with your dentist for an exam. This way, you ensure any underlying problems are solved before you start wearing your mouth guard.

Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards for Bruxism

Selecting the right dental appliance to treat bruxism relies on a combination of factors including the severity of the condition, your budget, and the recommendations of your dentist. Remember that every case is unique, and it’s important to find what works best for your health.

Prefabricated Mouth Guards

The most accessible type of mouth guards are prefabricated varieties available in most drugstores and pharmacies. These mouth guards are typically made of hard plastic material and come pre-molded in the shape of upper or lower teeth. Prefabricated mouthguards are designed with the intention that you simply pop them in and enjoy immediate benefits without any fuss or hassle.

            Pros

  • Easy to find in your local drugstore or pharmacy.
  • Prefabricated mouth guards are usually inexpensive, typically ranging between $15-$20 at the store or online.
  • There’s no fuss or need to mold the mouthguard to fit your teeth. Just pop it in and you’re ready to go!

Cons

  • The hard plastic material can make prefabricated mouth guards more uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • Because these mouth guards are prefabricated they may not fit well, depending on the structure of your mouth and teeth.
  • Prefab mouth guards are not suitable for people with severe bruxism since they aren’t as durable as other varieties.

Boil and Bite Mouth Guards

Boil and bite mouth guards are another fantastic over-the-counter option for quick relief from bruxism. Like prefab varieties, they are usually in-stock at most drugstores or easy to find online. Boil and bite guards provide slightly more customization than prefabricated guards. To mold the mouth guard to fit your teeth, heat the material in hot water until it’s soft, then, bite into the material to make an impression of your teeth. Once you’ve completed the customization steps, your mouth guard should fit your teeth snugly.

            Pros

  • Accessible at pharmacies and drug stores.
  • More customizable than prefabricated varieties, resulting in a more secure fit.
  • The soft material makes these mouth guards comfortable to wear overnight.
  • Boil and bite mouth guards are a budget-friendly option, usually ranging between $25-$30.

Cons

  • The softness of boil and bite mouth guards makes them more susceptible to general wear and tear over time, and they often need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Despite some opportunities for customization, these mouth guards may still be bulky or uncomfortable since they aren’t customized by a professional manufacturer.
  • Like prefabricated mouth guards, boil and bite guards aren’t suitable for individuals with severe bruxism.

Custom-Made Mouth Guards

Custom mouth guards offer the convenience of over-the-counter varieties and the efficacy of professional appliances. Custom mouth guards can be ordered online, and require the consumer to complete an impression kit to get the best fitting guard. Once completed, the impression kit should be mailed back to the manufacturer so they can make your custom-fitted appliance. Custom mouth guards come in a variety of thicknesses and materials, depending on what type of condition you’re treating.

            Pros

  • Custom-made guards offer the best overall fit of any variety. Since they are molded to match your teeth exactly, they won’t fall out or feel bulky.
  • Custom guards are typically comfortable for long-term wear.
  • Because they can be adjusted to address a variety of issues, custom guards are typically much more durable and long-lasting.
  • Unlike boil and bite guards, custom guards are suitable to treat severe bruxism.
  • Custom guards are easy to access online, and don’t require a trip to the dentist’s office.

Cons

  • Because they are specialized, custom guards are typically more expensive than other varieties, ranging between $120-$150. This being said they are more durable and will last for years without needing to be replaced.
  • Since custom guards need to be made to specifically fit your mouth, they take longer to receive than other varieties. Buying an inexpensive bite guard as an interim solution is a great way to get relief while you wait for your custom guard to arrive.

Finding Your Perfect Fit with Dental Lab Direct

It’s clear that if you’re looking for the most sustainable, long-term results, ordering a custom-made mouth guard is the best option. At Dental Lab Direct we offer a variety of custom-made dental appliances delivered straight to your door. Our guards are made from FDA approved materials, so you know your guard is high-quality and safe to wear for long periods of time.

Skip the inconvenience of the doctor’s office by ordering your mouth guard directly to your home. Our three-step ordering process is easy, hassle-free, and guarantees that a custom-mouth guard will be delivered to your home in a matter of two to three weeks.

Don’t let teeth grinding define your life. Choose Dental Lab Direct and enjoy a brighter, healthier, smile.

Bruxism Treatment: What Are My Options?

If you wake up with a sore neck and jaw every morning, then you might be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition that commonly occurs during sleep and effects the health of your teeth, jaw, and neck. Although bruxism often causes mild symptoms and is typically easy to treat, if left untreated bruxism may result in permanent damage and complications down the line.

The good news is that there are many different treatments available for bruxism. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common treatments, and the benefits each one has to offer.

How Do I Know I Have Bruxism?

Since many people experience bruxism while they are asleep, it can be difficult to diagnose. Unless you have a sleeping partner who complains about your grinding and clicking teeth, you may be oblivious to your condition.

In order to identify bruxism more accurately, it’s important to make regular visits to your dentist to assess the general health of your teeth. Your dentist will be able to spot signs of bruxism long before you’re aware of the impact on your teeth, so you can rest assured that your teeth are being well looked after.

Some common symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Soreness in the neck, temples and shoulders from clenching.
  • Soreness in the jaw area.
  • Sensitive teeth.
  • Cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend visiting your dentist to get things checked out as soon as possible. Being proactive is one of the best ways to prevent bruxism from worsening over time.

Home Remedies to Ease Symptoms

If you’re in discomfort but can’t seek long-term treatment right away, there are several home remedies that may help alleviate bruxism symptoms.

OTC Pain Relievers – For temporary relief from soreness caused by grinding, try an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Cold or Hot Compress – Soreness in the jaw may be soothed by applying a cold or hot compress to the tender area. A hot water bottle or microwaveable beanbag are also excellent options.

Epsom Salt Baths – A soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts may relieve muscle tightness in the shoulders and neck caused by grinding.

Massage – Gentle, self-massage reduces discomfort and restores mobility in the jaw. Focus on the point of connection between the upper and lower jaw, and gently rub the muscles while slowly opening and shutting your mouth.

Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of the bruxism, your dentist might recommend a specific treatment suited to address your symptoms. Bruxism treatments vary in cost and the immediacy of results, so there are several factors to consider when making your choice.

Lifestyle Changes – While there’s no single cause for bruxism, certain habits increase the likelihood of developing bruxism and experiencing severe discomfort. Smoking tobacco products, drinking alcohol, and ingesting large amounts of caffeine are all associated with increased teeth grinding. Cutting these habits out of your lifestyle may help minimize grinding and improve the quality of your sleep.

Stress Management – Severe bruxism is often linked to stress and anxiety. It goes without saying that life is stressful! From job responsibilities, to the global pandemic, to family commitments, most people are juggling multiple stressful elements at once, and this has resulted in an uptick in bruxism-related complications and symptoms.

Managing stress and anxiety starts with a sustainable self-care routine. Exercising, eating well, and prioritizing a healthy sleep schedule are all part of a wholistic approach to minimizing stress. In addition to practicing healthy lifestyle choices, you can address anxiety by seeing a therapist. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor or psychiatrist may prescribe medication for anxiety.

Muscle Relaxants – Although structural treatments like mouth guards are typically the most effective methods for treating bruxism, your doctor might prescribe a muscle relaxant to address tight jaw muscles. Muscle relaxants help loosen jaw, neck, and shoulder stiffness and alleviate general tension in the body. Muscle relaxants work well when paired with other treatments, and are typically inexpensive if the prescription is covered by your insurance.

Mouth guards ­– Mouth guards are probably the most common, and most effective, treatment for bruxism. Wearing a bite guard at night serves a twofold purpose. First, a mouth guard protects your teeth from wear and tear caused by clenching and grinding, and second, wearing a mouth guard cushions your jaw, minimizing pain and tenderness.

There are several types of mouth guard to choose from depending on your budget and the severity of your grinding:

  • Boil and Bite: found at your local pharmacy, boil and bite mouth guards are a fantastic temporary solution for grinders. As the name suggests, boil and bite guards are softened in hot water before you bite into them to make an impression of your teeth. Although they are inexpensive (usually around $25) you will have to replace them more often since they aren’t as durable as other options.

  • Soft Nightguard: For less extreme grinders, a custom-made soft nightguard is an effective solution for treating bruxism. Soft nightguards are typically more comfortable than harder options, but may not last as long and aren’t suitable for severe teeth grinders. Soft nightguards are usually available for around $120.

  • Hard Nightguards: Hard night guards are the best option when it comes to treating severe bruxism. Built to provide long-lasting protection, hard night guards are suitable for even the most intense grinders. Custom hard night guards are a bit more expensive, typically starting around $150, however the price is offset since these guards last for years.

Dental Correction – In the most extreme cases you may need to undergo dental correction due to damage caused by bruxism. Your dentist will reshape damaged teeth to mitigate complications, and may put crowns or caps on teeth with cracks. Dental correction isn’t a common outcome, but it can be very expensive and require multiple trips to the dentist’s office. Depending on your insurance status and the extent of the damage, dental correction can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Managing Your Bruxism with Dental Lab Direct

Instead of visiting your dentist for an overpriced mouth guard, consider ordering a custom-made bite guard from the comfort of your home. At Dental Lab Direct, our custom mouth guards are designed with efficacy and comfort in mind, and are made from high-quality FDA approved materials.

Dental Lab Direct’s three-step ordering process makes placing an order hassle-free. Once you’ve received your impression kit in the mail all you need to do is make an impression of your teeth, mail the package back to us (at no additional cost), and wait 2-3 weeks for your custom mouth guard to arrive. Treating bruxism doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and at DLD we’re committed to making your mouth guard the perfect fit.

5 Ways a Mouth Guard for Clenching Can Help

If you struggle with chronic headaches, fatigue, or soreness in your jaw, you may be suffering from “bruxism” or clenching while you sleep. Along with daily discomfort like jaw pain, chronic clenching might lead to serious dental complications if left untreated.

Luckily, treating bruxism is as easy as sleeping with a mouth guard to protect vulnerable teeth from further damage. Mouth guards are made to improve symptoms in the short-term and lead to better sleep and healthier teeth in the long-term.

Signs of Bruxism

Bruxism is difficult to diagnose since it occurs in most individuals while they are sleeping. However, there are several tell-tale signs to look for if you suspect you might be suffering from clenching.

Symptoms include:

  • Soreness in the jaw or jaw muscles.
  • Facial pain around the jaw, cheeks, and sinuses.
  • Chronic headaches.
  • Chronic fatigue and waking up feeling unrested.
  • Chipped or worn teeth from severe clenching and grinding.

Once you’ve identified the symptoms of bruxism, the best thing to do is visit your dentist immediately. Your dental professional will check for extreme issues like worn enamel and cracked teeth and advise you on the best type of mouth guard to treat your condition.

Choosing a Mouth Guard

There are several different types of mouth guard to choose form including boil and bite, hard mouth guards, and dual laminate mouth guards. In general, custom-made acrylic mouthguards offer the most consistent, effective, and long-term protection from clenching. Boil and bite mouthguards are suitable for those with minimal clenching, and serve as an effective temporary solution before your custom mouth guard arrives. 

How Your Mouth Guard Benefits Your Oral Health

Mouth guards don’t just mitigate side-effects from excessive clenching. A well-fitting mouthguard is a key tool in maintaining your overall wellbeing.

#1 Prevent Teeth from Shifting

One of the major benefits of wearing a custom-made mouthguard is they prevent your teeth from shifting after orthodontic treatment.  If you’ve dealt with orthodontics in the past, then you know that treatment isn’t cheap! It’s foolish to waste all that money and neglect your perfectly straight teeth as soon as your braces are removed. Wearing a hard acrylic mouth guard serves the dual purpose of protecting your teeth from grinding and ensuring they stay in place.

#2 Prevent Damage

Tooth grinding and clenching wears away enamel over time, which leads to complications like tooth decay and heightened sensitivity. Fortunately, this type of damage is easily preventable with the use of a mouth guard. Mouth guards provide a shield for teeth and protect them from damage over time.

#3 Treat Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a muscular complication caused by intense clenching and pressure on the temporomandibular joints. Symptoms of TMJ include pain and swelling in the jaw, trouble chewing, trouble opening the mouth, and clicking or cracking in the jaw. Mouth guards prevent TMJ from developing by cushioning the jaw muscles and preventing bite pressure from intensifying over time.

#4 Prevent Headaches

The muscles in your head, neck, jaw, and shoulders are all connected. People who suffer from constant tension and clenching in their jaw often experience chronic headaches in their neck and temples. These headaches may occur frequently, and may preempt worse conditions like migraines. By cushioning the jaw, mouthguards not only relieve symptoms of TMJ, they also diminish chronic headaches and neck pain due to tension.

#5 Save Money

Last but certainly not least, using a mouth guard saves money. As previously mentioned, teeth that have undergone orthodontic treatment will shift over time. Custom-made retainers save you money by ensuring these teeth stay in place, so no additional orthodontic treatment is needed.

Additionally, treating conditions like clenching and TMJ prevents these issues from worsening and potentially costing you hundreds of dollars in repair fees down the road. The cost of a custom mouth guard is relatively low compared to the cost of repairing damaged teeth and seeking expensive physical therapy for TMJ side effects.

Order Your Perfect Mouth Guard from Dental Lab Direct

Dental Lab Direct is one of the leading online providers of mouth guards, partial dentures, and retainers. Skip the expensive mouth guard from the dentist, and instead invest in one of Dental Lab Direct’s high-quality flexible acrylic mouth guards. At Dental Lab Direct we use FDA approved materials to create high-quality, durable dental appliances made to fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Get your order started today to experience the life-changing power of your new mouth guard.