Night Guards for Teeth Grinding – Pros And Cons

by Samantha on February 9, 2015

One of the suggested treatments for teeth grinding, or bruxism, is the use of mouth guards when sleeping. They tend to keep your teeth from being damaged through all of the grinding and clenching that you may be doing while sleeping. It’s also possible that they will put a halt to your bruxism altogether as long as you keep wearing the mouth guard. However, there are some things to be aware of when choosing the best mouth guard for you.

To begin with, there are basically two types of mouth guards. There is an over the counter type that can be bought in just about any drug store and even in some grocery stores. These are typically made of a pliable rubber material that you will take home and soak in hot water until it is soft enough for you to make your own “mold.” When it reaches its most pliable form, place it in your mouth and bite down. This leaves your teeth impressions in it and is supposed to help it fit your mouth better.

The biggest pro of these over the counter mouth guards is their price. If you’re low on money and have a teeth grinding problem, this may help you out some. You don’t have to pay for a dentist visit or for custom fitted mouth guards. These are quite affordable and anyone can get them.

On the other hand, a big con is that they don’t always work the way they need to because they aren’t custom fitted to your mouth. If they don’t fit 100 percent correct, they tend to start loosening when you grind or clench your teeth. This eventually makes them come completely away from your teeth, rendering the protection to them non-existent. They are better than nothing, but just barely.

The other type of mouth guard is the custom fitted one. To get this type of mouth guard, you’ll need to visit your dentist, who will take a mold of your teeth and ship it away to a laboratory. The lab will create a mouth guard from a hard acrylic material that will be the exact shape of your mouth.

The good point of the custom fitted mouth guard is that it will fit your mouth like a glove and there’s little chance for any slipping during the night. This will ensure protection for your teeth from any teeth grinding or clenching you may do while you sleep. In time, wearing this type of mouth guard may actually cure your teeth grinding.

The bad points are that the custom fitted mouth guards are very expensive and you may have to wait a long time before they’re made and shipped to your dentist. In spite of these things, though, if you can afford them, it’s definitely worth the price and the wait in the end. They will be permanent and you won’t have to buy them again.

When choosing mouth guards to help with your bruxism, it’s important to keep your budget in mind, of course. But consult with your dentist as to what is going to work best for you, personally.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Johanna @ GIJoh.com February 4, 2011 at 2:09 am

Hi Samantha,
Glad I’ve read this information about the pros and cons of mouth guards. A relative of mine suggested that I buy an over-the-counter mouth guard for my husband’s snoring, to see if it works. I didn’t know it can also prevent bruxism.
Thanks!

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