Night Guards FAQs

Night Guards FAQs

Apr 01, 2020

Around 20 percent of adults suffer from bruxism, the unconscious grinding, and clenching of your teeth. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, bruxism can affect your teeth’ integrity, dental structure, and teeth loss. Bruxism can also cause fatigue, jaw soreness, facial pain, and dull headaches.

The cause of bruxism is not known, but it is believed anxiety and stress play a significant role. Bruxism doesn’t need treatment as it clears out on its own. However, in severe cases, the dentist can recommend night guards.

Why Do You Need a Night Guard?

A night guard is a transparent and thin appliance worn over the surface of the teeth to prevent grinding of the upper and lower jaw. The night guards are primarily used on people with bruxism. However, people with TMJ can also benefit from wearing these appliances.
Wearing a night guard offers excellent benefits such as:

  • Alleviating and preventing chronic headaches
  • Prevent pain, wear, and tear of the teeth
  • Protect your dental structure

What Options Are Available?

Night guards are available in three options and address the different severity of bruxism.

  • Soft bruxism night guard
    These night guards are made of soft material and are ideal for people with mild teeth clenching and bruxism. A soft night guard is adaptable and easy to get used to and most comfortable of all the types of night guards. On the downside, the material is not durable, and some people may chew the material. Plus, the guards have a short lifespan.
  • Dual laminate
    When you have severe bruxism, you need a durable night guard with a longer lifespan, and dual laminate is ideal. These night guards are made of soft material on the inside and hard on the outside. Dual laminate guards are thicker than the other types and hard to adjust.
  • Hard Acrylic guards
    The hard night guards are durable, long-lasting, and suitable for people who have heavy clenching and grinding.

All these three options can either be store-bought or customized. Although the store-bought night guards are readily available, they are not the best as they are one-size-fits-all. No two people are the same as we all have different dental and jaw structure. Some people have small mouths, while others are bigger. Buying a store-bought may not address or fit your individual needs.

We recommend getting custom-fit guards as they are designed to fit your structure and severity of the condition.

Do I Need the Lower or Upper Jaw?

You only need one mouth guard, and the upper jaw is the default option unless the dentist recommends both. The top guards are ideal because they don’t interfere with your tongue or lower jaw. The dentist can, however, give you the lower guard if you’ve had some dental restorations done.

What Does the Process of Making Night Guards Entail?

If you suspect you have bruxism, it is vital to visit Dr. Anil Mathews for an assessment. He will examine your teeth to determine the severity of the teeth grinding. Next, an impression of both the lower and upper jaw is taken. The dentist will mold the guards, and the process may take four weeks to complete.

Will The Guards Cure Bruxism?

No, night guards don’t cure teeth grinding. They only protect against grinding and preserve the teeth.

How long Does Night Guards Last?

The night guard’s durability and life span are determined by the material used. For instance, soft night guards are not as durable as the acrylic ones. On average, though, the guards will last for five years.

Can I Wear the Night Guards During the Day?

Yes, if you have the severity of the teeth grinding and clenching, wearing the night guards may help protect your teeth from damage.

Are There Other Bruxism Treatment Available?

Night guards are the most common treatment. However, if you experience pain, the dentist can recommend other treatments such as teeth straightening, change of diet, and stress prevention.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have constant jaw soreness and pain, the night guards are essential. At Brier Creek Family Dentistry, we offer different and types of night guards.