A night guard is a type of mouthguard that you wear while sleeping to prevent teeth grinding caused by clenching of the jaw. This clenching & grinding is called bruxism by dentists, & if left untreated it can cause worn, cracked & damaged teeth that will need to be repaired or removed & replaced. If the dentist has told you that you have bruxism, a night guard is an important way to make sure you don’t do further damage to your teeth.
Signs that you may have bruxism & need to wear a night guard include a sore jaw, sore teeth & dull headaches. The dentist may also be able to detect signs of bruxism by looking at patterns of wear on your teeth.
Night guards are available over-the-counter at the pharmacy or custom-made from your dentist. Store-bought night guards are often the boil-&-bite kind that require you to heat up the new mouthguard & bite into it so it shapes to your bite. Custom night guards from your dentist are often much more precise & slimmer, & therefore more comfortable. If comfort is a big concern of yours, we strongly recommend talking to the dentist about a custom guard. This is the more expensive option; however, the money you spend on your night guard is very small in comparison to the restorative treatments you may need if your teeth grinding continues to damage your teeth.
If you think you may have teeth grinding, please speak with us about getting a night guard. We’d much rather help you prevent discomfort & damage to your smile than have to treat it!
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