Teeth Clenching – Why A Night Guard Won’t Cure It

by Samantha on July 8, 2011

Bruxism is the condition that occurs when people grind their teeth at night. If you suffer from bruxism, then your dentist will likely suggest that you wear a mouth guard at night. However, there are many disadvantages to following this advice. And, most importantly, mouth guards do not stop someone from grinding their teeth while they sleep.

Being fitted for a mouth guard is quite expensive. Mouth guards used for bruxism typically cost within a range $500 to $700. Mouth guards wear down over time, which means that you will ultimately have to get a new one, making it a recurring expense; a quite costly recurring expense indeed.

The mouth guard is intended to put a stop to any additional damage being caused to the teeth as a result of the grinding. The guard basically provides a barrier between the teeth in the upper jaw and the teeth in the lower jaw, such that when it is worn, you end up grinding away at the mouth guard instead. Eventually, the mouth guard will get damaged from the grinding to the point where it will need to be replaced with a new, expensive mouth guard.

The idea of wearing a mouth guard every single night for the rest of your life is probably pretty unrealistic, which raises another problem with relying on a mouth guard to solve your bruxism. It certainly acts as a temporary solution, but since it doesn’t cure you of your bruxism, you will have to wear it for life. The reality is that most people will not commit to wearing a night guard for the rest of their life. As such, it does not really end up being a true solution to your teeth grinding problem.

So what can you do if you have bruxism and don’t want to be saddled with wearing a night guard for potentially the rest of your life?

It is well-known that bruxism is often induced by stress, so perhaps attacking this condition at the root of the problem is the best solution. If you work on reducing the stress in your daily life and/or develop some stress-relieving techniques, you may just help put an end to your nightly teeth grinding.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitchell September 7, 2011 at 6:26 am

I believe this is false, a night guard does not simply ‘provide a barrier’ from grinding, by wearing a night guard you’re changing the position of occlusion of your teeth. This then tricks your brain, making it think that you have a new occlusal position. It’s this tricking of the brain that stops you from bruxising .

Claire A. Joliat September 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I am noticing that since I acquired Parkinson’s Disease my teeth are grinding a lot because it is in my whole body now. I am afraid I am going to grind them all down to nothing. Any tips on how to protect my teeth?

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