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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

Here's Why Your Dentist Wants You to Wear a Mouthguard While You Sleep

by Jimmy Carter

It's probably going to sound strange when your dentist tells you that you should start wearing a mouthguard. Sports mouthguards are one thing (and if you asked your dentist, they'd probably suggest wearing one for any contact sport), but your dentist is more likely to recommend a night guard. This is a specific type of mouthguard to be worn while you sleep. But why do you need one?


Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to spot minor problems before they have a chance to develop into major ones. All teeth experience wear and tear, but when your dentist notices that the wear on the biting surfaces of your teeth (where your teeth make contact with each other) has accelerated, it can be a sign that you're grinding your teeth during the night.


Involuntarily grinding your teeth (or as it's formally known, bruxism) can happen at any time, but most affected people do it while they're sleeping. You might wake up with a sore jaw, and of course, your teeth are progressively eroding. This makes them more vulnerable to decay and general deterioration. There are a few different causes for bruxism, even though these can be difficult to pinpoint.


Your dentist may check the alignment of your bite. Any misalignment (when your upper and lower teeth don't properly meet when your jaw is closed) can indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. Perhaps you'll need braces or another appliance to align your bite, and your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist as required. 

Crowns and Bonding

A bite might be perfectly aligned, and you still could experience bruxism. Sometimes the cause may be out of the realm of dentistry since stress can contribute to teeth grinding. In any event, your dentist can stop any bruxism from damaging your teeth. If a significant degree of dental enamel (a tooth's outer layer) has worn away, it can be covered with a ceramic dental crown. Alternatively, dental bonding (applying tooth-coloured resin) may be used to rebuild compromised dental enamel.

Night Guard

Although a dentist can reverse wear and tear caused by bruxism, what's to stop it from happening again? This is where the night mouthguard proves its worth. This is a lightweight retainer (you'll barely notice you're wearing it) that can be worn over the upper or lower teeth. The thermoplastic retainer creates a physical barrier between your upper and lower sets of teeth, stopping them from grinding against each other.

When your dentist notices accelerated wear and tear on your teeth, it's a pretty good indicator that you're a nighttime grinder. This isn't great for your dental health, but your dentist can stop your bruxism from causing any further damage.

For more information, contact a dentist.