Dental Night Guard – Do I Need to Start Wearing One?

dental night guardDo you often wake up with a sore jaw? How about a dull headache or frequent tooth pain? If either one or all of those three things have been happening regularly for you, then you may want to consult a dentist to see if you’re suffering from what’s referred to as bruxism. A dental night guard might help to relieve those problems and help you to get better sleep while protecting your teeth.

Bruxism affects plenty of adults, is very rarely treated nor diagnosed and sometimes goes away on its own.

In the rare case it doesn’t go away, however, bruxism will require treatment.

One of the many methods professionals uses to help alleviate the effects of bruxism are night guards. These oral appliances, which are worn at night while sleeping, are available from most pharmacies and are also available custom-made from the dentist.

They work relaxing your jaws and easing the muscle tension, as well as allowing your jaw muscles to align properly and more importantly, cushions your teeth so that the constant grinding and clenching don’t end up wearing them down too much.

To use a store-bought night-guard, you simply have to boil it and let it cool for a few seconds before biting into it to mould it to your own teeth.

Are Custom-Made Night-Guards Worth It?

Custom-made night-guards are much more expensive compared to store-bought ones. They are carefully made in a special laboratory according to the specifications provided by an impression of your mouth.

Other than price, the main difference between both night-guards is quality.

Made specifically only for your mouth, custom-made night-guards fit better and are much more comfortable to wear. In many ways, this makes custom-made night-guards much more effective in treating bruxism.

Other Treatments for Teeth Grinding

If you find wearing night-guards uncomfortable, you can try out other possible treatments to help alleviate the effects of bruxism.

Having teeth that are out of alignment straightened via orthodontic braces, for example, have been known to help with bruxism. Minimizing stress too can help, as anxiety has been proven to be one of the main causes of bruxism. Learning how to relax more and taking up something like meditation, or even professional counseling can do wonders in helping you stop clenching your jaw.

If you frequently drink coffee, you may want to lay off of it for a while. Caffeine, as well as other stimulants, are notorious for causing teeth grinding.

Antidepressants, as well as other certain types of medication, have the same effect, so changing your diet or medication can also prove beneficial. However, be sure to consult your primary physician first before changing your medication.

Regardless of what you do about bruxism, what’s important is that you do something about it.

If stress and diet are the main reasons, then it will eventually take care of itself as soon as you start taking better care of yourself. However, if you can, do wear a dental night guard. Not only can it help make your jaw feel better, but it will also help prevent your teeth from eroding and being susceptible to tooth sensitivity and oral disease. Make an appointment today with Graham Farless, DDS to see if a night-guard will benefit you. Call 336-282-2868 or contact us through the website at