Do I Need to Wear a Night Guard?

Are you recently experiencing severe headaches or painful jaws? Perhaps you just cannot seem to get rid of such problems. If so, you might have a condition known as bruxism. This is a condition in which some people clench, grind, or gnash their teeth in their sleep. Some people have a condition known as awake bruxism, which is clenching, grinding, or gnashing teeth when fully awake.

Stress is one of the primary causes of bruxism, especially today. According to some experts, the coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on many people’s finances and social lives. This results in more cases of stress. Consequently, the problem of teeth clenching and grinding is becoming more common.


What Is a Dental Night Guard?

This is a soft or hard retainer-like piece of plastic designed to cover the biting surfaces of your teeth. You can wear a night guard on either the top or bottom set of your teeth. But as people have different teeth patterns, it is important to get a custom-made night guard from your dentist. They will mold it to fit your teeth.


Types of Night Guards

There are three main types of night guards. These are:

  • Over-the-counter night guards.
  • Hard night guards.
  • Custom-made night guards.


OTC Night Guards

Most drug stores have over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all nightguards pre-modeled to fit anyone’s mouth. Some of them are boil-and-bite night guards that soften in hot water for a better fit. Unfortunately, wearing these devices for a long time can lead to a bite shift. This is because they are not custom-made for the shape of your teeth.


Hard Night Guards

Typically made from acrylic, hard nightguards can help treat severe cases of teeth clenching and grinding, as well as TMJ disorder. As the muscles in your mouth relax, your lower jaw will position itself in a better or healthy centric position. This will lead to a change in your bite. A mouthguard can cause an adjustment to your bite, which will help your jaw and muscles relax.


Custom-made Night Guards

These are the best solution for people suffering from bruxism. They provide a personalized solution for each patient. Your dentist will use the impression of your teeth to make custom-made night guards using professional techniques and materials. Thus, they will be more comfortable to wear and can be durable enough to last for years.


Do You Need to Wear Night Guards?

To determine whether you need to wear a night guard before you go to sleep, you need to find out whether you have sleep bruxism. According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, this problem is quite common among kids and adults. If you frequently experience the following symptoms, it might be time to consult a dental professional about dental night guards.


Symptoms of Sleep Bruxism


  • Chronic teeth grinding.
  • Chipped teeth.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder.
  • Frequently waking up with headaches.

If you are wondering whether you need to wear a night guard, simply consult your dentist. However, you should understand that ignoring bruxism symptoms can lead to serious dental problems. Fortunately, a dentist or dental hygienist can treat your condition and save you from frequent dental discomfort and pain.

To learn more about night guards, visit Above & Beyond Dental at our office in Bedford, Texas. You can call (817) 571-1667 today to schedule an appointment.