If you have noticed yourself grinding your teeth or consistently waking up with jaw pain and headaches, a night guard may be beneficial for you.
What is a night guard?
A night guard is essentially a clear-coloured mouth guard that you wear over the biting surfaces of your teeth while you are sleeping.
What are the benefits of a night guard?
- Preventing tooth wear and chipping: Night guards stop the teeth from contacting each other so that the teeth aren’t grinding together and causing damage. Such damage that can occur from tooth grinding includes loss of tooth structure, chipping and cracking of teeth and damage to fillings.
- Reducing jaw pain and headaches: Night guards allow the muscles around the jaw to relax, which reduces clenching and tension on the jaw. This may not only reduce pain in the jaw but also reduce headaches that can be caused by teeth grinding.
- Snoring: some night guards are designed to posture the lower jaw forwards to keep the airways open while you are asleep. The Increase in airflow improves breathing and reduces snoring.
What kind of night guards are there?
Pre-made: a premade night guard is one of a standardised size to fit most mouths. Because it is not specifically made to fit your teeth, if worn in the long term it may cause your bite to shift.
Custom made: this type of mouth guard is moulded to your mouth, so that it fits better and is more comfortable to wear. To make one of these, custom impressions of your mouth will have to be taken.