When Do You Need A Night Guard?

When Do You Need A Night Guard?

Nov 05, 2021

When sleeping, many people grind or clench their teeth involuntarily, which often leads to the destruction of teeth. If you suspect that you may be doing this, you should visit a dental office that offers customized night guards.

Although you might not be aware there are some side effects of bruxism. They include headaches, soreness of the jaw, or waking up in the middle of the night unexpectedly. Sharon Dental Group offers customized night guards to help eliminate teeth grinding and clenching and the side effects.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the condition associated with teeth grinding and clenching. Grinding involves moving the jaws back and forth, and clenching is the act of biting down with excess force for massive periods. It’s very common.  Most people do not realize that they have the condition unless alerted by their dentist.

Symptoms of bruxism

  • Chipped teeth
  • Chronic grinding
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Inflammation of the gums

Although it does not sound dangerous, grinding of the teeth can cause massive damage to the tooth structure, specifically the enamel. Once the enamel wears out, it leads to increased sensitivity and increases your chances of tooth decay. Some factors put you at a high risk of bruxism. They include:

  • Age – the condition is more prevalent among children.
  • Intense emotions – when you get mad, stressed, or experience anxiety, you may grind your teeth unconsciously.
  • Drug abuse – over-use of alcohol and tobacco increase the risk of bruxism.
  • Personality – hyperactive and naturally aggressive individuals are likely to experience bruxism more than anyone else.
  • Other health conditions – bruxism is linked with sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, hyperactivity disorder, and epilepsy.

Night guards

Once the dentist confirms that you have bruxism, characterized mainly by teeth grinding and clenching, you should start using a night guard immediately to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Night guards can have numerous names, such as occlusal guards, mouth guards, or bite splints. They are hard plastic pieces that cover the upper or lower teeth. They resemble retainers and designed to feel soft in the mouth. They are the most effective treatment for bruxism.

Besides cushioning your teeth from excessive force during clenching, they also prevent them from grinding against each other. Therefore, they help you get rid of bruxism and its symptoms, such as headaches and damaged teeth. These symptoms can be severe if not treated. Although there are night guards sold over the counter, it’s recommended to use the ones provided and customized by the dentist.

Customized night guards

Night guards are tailor-made to suit your individual mouth and teeth. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth and sends the mold to a dental laboratory for fabrication. The night guard is personalized to you and fits perfectly in your mouth.

The dentist checks if it fits appropriately, and if it does not, necessary adjustments are made by the laboratory technicians. Though the customized night guards are more expensive than their generic counterparts, they are more comfortable and will last longer.

How to care for your night guard

A night guard will feel uncomfortable at the start, but you get used to it with time. It would be best to put it on before you sleep and remove it immediately after waking up. To ensure it maintains good shape, you should wash it thoroughly before and after each use. Take care of your night guard just as you do with your teeth.

Rinse it with cold water and, if possible, brush it with toothpaste and a toothbrush. You should also ensure you keep the night guard away from the sun or hot areas. Do not wash it with hot water to avoid warping it since it’s made of plastic. Lastly, always ensure you store the mouth guard in a safe container, preferably in the one it comes with.


Once you notice any bruxism symptoms, visit a dentist near you for a proper diagnosis. After the dentist confirms the condition, and you obtain the night guard start wearing it immediately and maintain your optimal dental hygiene. This combination is highly effective in reversing the effects of teeth grinding and clenching. In conclusion, you should always wear a comfortable and proper fitting night guard.


Our dental office in Sharon, MA also welcome patients from the below given nearby areas:

  • Canton
  • Walpole
  • Mansfield
  • Stoughton
  • Easton
  • Foxborough
  • Norwood
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