Your smile is an investment in your appearance, confidence, and overall health. Whether you’ve undergone a smile makeover or reconstruction with dental implants, you want to ensure that your investment lasts many years. While many patients focus on the initial procedures and maintenance, one important factor often overlooked is using a gum shield or night guard.
What is a Gum Shield?
Gum shields, a night guard, or an occlusal splint is a custom-made dental appliance that fits over your teeth to protect them from damage caused by clenching or grinding while you sleep. This condition, known as bruxism, affects up to 20% of adults and can cause significant damage to natural teeth and prosthetic restorations like dental implants.
Why Use ?
Using a gum shield is important for protecting your investment in your smile. Dental implants and other prosthetic restorations are designed to last many years but are not immune to damage caused by bruxism. Over time, the excessive forces can cause wear and tear on the restorations, leading to cracks, chips, or even dislodgment. This affects the appearance of your smile and can compromise the restorations’ function and stability.
In addition to protecting your investment in your smile, a gum shield can prevent other dental problems associated with bruxism. These include tooth sensitivity, gum recession, and jaw pain. By reducing the forces on your teeth and jaws, the gum shield can also alleviate headaches and other symptoms associated with bruxism.
What to Expect When Getting Gum Shields
Getting a gum shield is a simple and painless process. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fit gum shield that fits snugly over your teeth. The shield is made of a durable material that is comfortable to wear and easy to clean. Your dentist will provide instructions on using and caring for your gum shield.
Investing in your smile means taking care of it daily. Using a gum shield is a simple and effective way to protect your natural teeth and prosthetic restorations like dental implants from the damaging effects of bruxism. With a small investment in a gum shield, you can ensure that your smile lasts many years. Talk to your dentist today about getting a custom-made gum shield and protecting your investment in your smile.