How Can A Nightguard Improve Oral Health?

Worn at night as your sleep, a nightguard can be used for a variety of reasons. We often prescribe them as a comfortable and minimally invasive way to treat a variety of common oral health concerns. How can we use a nightguard to improve oral health?

TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, occurs as a result of jaw joint strain. The disorder can make opening and closing the mouth completely a difficult task, and symptoms include soreness in the jaw, popping or clicking in the jaw, and persistent headaches.

A nightguard can reposition the jaw to ease the strain on the joints. Patients then enjoy a significant reduction in the uncomfortable symptoms of TMD.


Bruxism refers to the persistent grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. Without treatment, this can eventually wear down teeth or even damage them, making the onset of tooth decay and infection more likely. Stress, tooth loss, misalignment, and injury to the face or jaw are often causes of bruxism. We can treat this issues with an oral appliance. The device will actually place a barrier between the upper and lower rows of teeth, preventing further damage to them. The guard can also address malocclusion, repositioning the jaw to help prevent further grinding episodes.

Sleep Apnea

Finally, we can even use a nightguard-like device to treat sleep apnea. The custom-made device is worn at night while the patient sleeps. The device actually moves the jaw forward, preventing the collapse of soft tissues responsible for apneic episodes. Patients then have a more comfortable treatment option than a CPAP machine. If you have any questions or concerns about our nightguards and treating these common disorders, then please contact our office today.

Do You Need An Oral Appliance?

At Lawson Family Dentistry, we can use a custom-made device to address issues with your jaw joints and smile. Dr. Lawson and her team proudly welcome patients of all ages from Urbandale, IA, as well as Johnston, Grimes, Waukee, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, please call our Urbandale office today at (515) 278-4366.