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Night Guards for Periodontal Disease

Dr. Degel Feb 8, 2018

The anatomy of a toothHaving a healthy, beautiful smile means regular oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly helps fight tooth decay and periodontal disease. If you do develop periodontal disease, it can result in bleeding gums, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.

Patients sometimes ask the team at our Queens, NY dental practice if night guards can be used to treat gum disease. We’d like to answer that question below. First off, let’s describe what periodontal disease means and how night guards work.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This is caused by the bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth, which is responsible for cavities and bad breath. There are different stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Treating gum disease at its earliest stages is easier than in later stages. It’s best to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as it develops to avoid more serious issues with your dental health.

How Do Night Guards Work?

Night guards refer to custom crafted retainers that a patient wears while they are asleep. While these retainers are worn, they can help prevent damage to the teeth and issues that impact the gums.

Can Night Guards Help Treat Gum Disease?

No.

While night guards are helpful for a lot of dental health problems, they are not effective at treating gum disease per se. A dentist is unlikely to prescribe a night guard when trying to treat gum disease. That said, dentists do use night guards to address another common periodontal health problem.

Night Guards for Gum Recession

Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline. When this happens, it can expose the root structure of the teeth, causing tooth sensitivity and increasing the risk of tooth decay and root canal infection.

While gum recession is a symptom of gum disease, it is also a symptom of teeth grinding (bruxism). When you grind your teeth at night, this puts pressure on the gemlike and can lead to the gradual loss of gum tissue. Dentists who notice signs of teeth grinding will often prescribe a night guard as part of the treatment process.

How Effective Are Night Guards for Gum Recession?

Night guards are effective at slowing down and even outright stopping gum recession that occurs as a result of teeth grinding. The night guards help reduce the pressure exerted on the teeth during sleep. This prevents tooth damage as well as gum recession form occurring.

Night guards are often paired with relaxation techniques to help address the teeth grinding itself. To rebuild the gumline, gum grafting surgery will be necessary.

What Treatments Are Available for Gum Disease?

To treat gum disease, a dentist has many different options. For gingivitis, gum disease can usually be treated through antiseptic rinses and antibacterial toothpaste. In more advanced types of gum disease, antibiotics and removal of disease gum tissue may be necessary.

As the dentist brings the bacterial infection under control, restorative procedures can be performed to address any damage done to the teeth, the gumline, and other structures of the mouth. This includes the use of restorations, root canal therapy, gum grafting, and more.

Learn More About Improving Periodontal Health

For more information about treating periodontal disease and gum recession, be sure to contact Astoria Dental Group. The team at our practice will help you smile with renewed health and wellness.

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Astoria, NY 11106

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