Determining if you need a night guard can be very tricky. As many people don’t realize why or how a night guard would benefit. Night guards are generally recommended to people who suffer from Bruxism (night teeth grinding). Bruxism should be addressed and treated as it can have many negative repercussions such as Myofascial muscle pain, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and headaches and in severe cases arthritis of temporomandibular joints.
Neglecting bruxism can have detrimental effect to oral hygiene and the overall maintenance of the teeth. Teeth can wear down, become fractured or blunt. Clenching also puts pressure on the jaw muscles and tissues, which in turn can lead to headaches, sore gums, jaw stiffness, jaw pain and other TMJ issues.
There are a few different options that are currently available for night mouth guards that can help you minimize the symptoms of bruxism and help to protect your teeth.
Over the Counter Night Mouth Guard
Over the counter mouth guards can be purchased at pharmacies and usually cost around $30-$40. They are customizable to some extent.
Most over the counter night guards are a plastic or silicon U-shaped tray that should be boiled and then molded in to the shape of the arch by biting on it. These night guards generally cover either the top or the bottom teeth according to preference. Although there is room for customization the issue with over the counter night guards is that they might not always be the most comfortable for the patient to wear. In addition to this over the counter mouth guards may not last as long and are more prone to wear.
Custom Made Night Mouth Guard
Dental offices can provide you with a professionally fitted night guard that can work for you. Impression or a digital scan of your teeth would be taken and sent to a laboratory that specializes in creating mouth guards. They would create the night guard of hard durable plastic that would be more comfortable in your mouth. These types of night guards generally last longer and can endure more wear on them from the effects of bruxism.
Custom night guards can cost several hundred dollars but are usually the best method for protecting your teeth and curbing the effects of bruxism.
Your dental office can help identify if you suffer from bruxism and help you decide which night guard would be suitable for your oral health. D.R. Dental clinic can help you identify the signs of bruxism as well as which night guard option works best for your mouth, call today to book an appointment!