Does your jaw ache when you wake up in the morning? Do your back teeth look flat on top instead of having cusps? Then you may have bruxism, which means you grind your teeth while sleeping. If you suspect bruxism, contact Marshfield Dental Group in Marshfield, MA, to consult with our dentist about night guards.
Night guards are dental devices that people with bruxism wear to protect their teeth. It is like a mouth guard that you wear at night while sleeping to stop clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth together.
Three types of mouth guards are available for those who grind or clench their teeth, and the one our dentist at Marshfield Dental Group recommends depends on the severity of your problem. The choices for the mouth guards include:
A soft plastic night guard is best for people who have mild to moderate issues with bruxism. The soft plastic is comfortable to wear, which makes it easy to get used to, but people often end up clenching them in their mouths or chewing on them. The average life span of a soft plastic night guard is about six months.
A double laminated night guard has a harder outer layer of plastic and a softer inner layer. Due to the softer middle, they are comfortable to wear, and most of our Marshfield, MA users like them. It’s crucial to keep these night guards dry between uses. Otherwise, the two layers of laminate can separate.
If you have severe bruxism, then a hard acrylic night guard is probably the best choice for you. Our dentist also recommends them for people developing or who have TMJ (temporomandibular disorder). Some versions of this night guard have metal clasps that attach to the teeth, but these guards leave little room for grinding teeth.
For a night guard to protect your teeth, it needs to be customized to your bite. While you can buy night guards at pharmacies, they are one-size-fits-all, which doesn’t adequately protect the teeth. If you have headaches, jaw aches, or your teeth appear to be flattening, contact us at Marshfield Dental Group in Marshfield, MA, about getting a night guard.