Night guards are a type of mouth guard that is worn at night to prevent tooth wear due to repetitive clenching and grinding. Teeth clenching and teeth grinding are common sleep motion disorders that only occur at night while asleep, subconsciously.
Teeth clenching typically causes wear and indentations in the biting surfaces of the molars, and grinding causes flattening down of the biting surfaces of the front and back teeth.
Night guards are the gold standard to help reduce or eliminate the effects of teeth clenching and teeth grinding. Night guards absorb the forces of the jaws and act as a cushion to prevent tooth-on-tooth wear.
If you repeatedly wake up with a sore jaw or a headache, it may be due to teeth grinding or teeth clenching. For most patients, teeth grinding and clenching occur while they are asleep. Due to this, it is often a loved one or family member who notices or hears this habit while the patient is sleeping. During periods of stress, teeth grinding and clenching may also occur consciously or subconsciously.
Night guards are professionally made mouth guards that are fabricated in a dental lab. An impression will be taken of your teeth and sent to the lab, where a custom guard will be made uniquely for your teeth and mouth. Night guards can be made in various materials ranging from medium-soft to firm. They can be made for either the top or the bottom teeth, depending on what is comfortable for you and depending on the amount of teeth clenching and teeth grinding that is occurring.
If you believe you may benefit from a night guard or have any questions about night guards, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.