Mouth guards are one of the best ways of eliminating the effects of teeth grinding, or to give it its technical name, bruxism, at night. This is because using a mouth guard for teeth grinding at night doesn’t just protect your teeth but also provides a different sensory experience when your jaw muscles contract. It depends on the individual as to whether this makes them clench less or more, but they are well worth trying and will at least help to protect your teeth.
Mouth guards can be made of a hard or soft material and some are thinner than others, and a lot of dentists will recommend that mouth guards should be thinner over the back teeth and thicker over the front teeth to replicate the way your teeth should naturally part when at rest. However some dentists feel that a thicker mouthguard is better and protects the jaw hinge which is called the temporomandibular joint much more effectively. The majority of mouth guards are designed to fit over or in between your upper and lower teeth while one type is custom-made in the dental office to fit over just the front teeth.
Custom-made mouth guards for teeth grinding at night
Custom-made mouth guards involve having an impression taken by the dentist which is then sent off to the dental laboratory with the prescription. A dental technician will cast up the model in dental plaster. This model is used for the construction of the mouthguard which involves taking a blank acrylic plate which is then adapted over the model using a combination of heat and vacuum, and the excess material is cut away and the edges smoothed so that they cannot irritate the sensitive oral tissues. The mouth guard is then returned to the dental office so that the final adjustments can be made in the mouth.
If your dentist has prescribed a mouth guard that only fits over the front teeth then this can be made chair side. This device is called an NTI-tss (NTI tension suppression system) and is very unobtrusive. It does create quite a lot of stress on the front teeth, and may not be suitable for anyone who has crowns or bridgework in this area. It’s also possible to buy ready-made mouth guards.
Ready-made mouth guards for teeth grinding at night
A quick search on the Internet will reveal the huge number of mouth guards available for teeth grinding at night, and while most dentists do not like these products they definitely have their place as custom-made night guards can cost several hundred dollars which is out of the reach of many people. These ready-made mouth guards can be purchased for as little as $20 and these low prices make it much easier to experiment to see which brand works best for you. It’s probably worth paying a bit more for a better quality product which may last longer and offer better protection for your teeth. Try to choose one made from flexible material that won’t easily tear and which may be better adapted around your teeth to give a more custom fit.