How Does A Night Guard Prevent Clenching And Grinding?

How Does A Night Guard Prevent Clenching And Grinding?

July 6, 2022

Are you experiencing headaches or having a sore jaw every morning? Then you may have been grinding your teeth unconsciously in your sleep. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding symptoms could be facial pain, fatigue, or dull headaches in the morning.

While there isn’t a known cause of tooth grinding, anxiety and stress are believed to play a significant role. Other causes may be sleep apnea, tobacco use, crooked teeth, or abnormal bites. Occasionally grinding may not cause severe issues on your teeth, but chronic bruxism may lead to tooth loss or broken teeth. If you have teeth-grinding problems, visit our dentist in Clearwater to discuss treatment options.

How Do Night Guards Work?

At this point, you are probably wondering how night guards will help with tooth grinding. Bruxism can be treated by wearing night guards while sleeping. Nightguards work by acting as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. As you clench your jaw, the night guard lightens up the tension by acting as a cushion to your muscle jaws. This cushioning will protect your dental enamel and prevent face and jaw pain.

We all have different dental patterns. In addition, nightguards near you are custom-made to avoid discomfort and the risk of then being unnecessarily bulky.

Types of Night Guards

There are several available options for choosing a mouth guard for sleeping. Some of these options are:

Custom Made Night Guards

These guards offer a more personalized solution for teeth grinding and clenching. They are professionally made in a dental laboratory using an impression of your dental structure. Custom-fit guards are often comfortable and durable due to their professional techniques and materials. Different types of materials can be used when making mouth guards for grinding teeth. This allows us to guide our clients in choosing a suitable material for their guards.

Custom made guard materials available in dental labs include:

  • Soft night guards. These are guards made out of flexible rubber materials. Individuals with light or medium grinding use them.
  • Hard night guards. They are made of a strong plastic material. Hard night guards can withstand severe and heavy grinding.
  • Hybrid night guards. They are also known as dual-laminate night guards. The guards have an inner softer core covered by a hard outer layer. Hybrid guards will provide you with comfort and protection for heavy teeth grinders.

Over The Counter Night Guards

This type of mouth guard for grinding teeth can easily be found in your local drugstores. They can either be a one-fit size for all guards or bite and boil guard models. For the bite and boil guards, one has to boil them in water and then bite it to leave an impression. They are relatively pocket friendly, as they are not made with durable materials. These types of guards are not recommended for severe teeth grinders.

What is Considered When Choosing a Night Guard

Whether you choose a professional guard, a boil and bite guard, or a custom-made guard, one must consider when doing so. At Sunset Point Dental, we work with our clients to ensure they leave with what they need.

Your Dental Arrangement

How your teeth are arranged affects majorly how your night guard will fit. Therefore, we advise our clients to choose a less complicated impression. That is, if your lower jaw has several crooked or missing teeth, the lower teeth impression is considered the best fit.


When choosing a guard, it is crucial to consider the process of putting it on and other factors such as your gag reflex or jaw joint complications. An uncomfortable nightguard will keep you up all night, reducing your sleep quality. One might also find themselves removing the guard every night, reducing the effectiveness of their purpose.


Price is a significant factor in investing in one’s dental health. Although they cost more, professionally fitted guards are highly recommended due to their durability and comfort. However, mid-range priced guards may be the best fit for clients without insurance coverage for the professional guards.

Are there Side Effects?

A night guard that is poorly made could affect your bite by changing how your teeth fit together. Professionally fitted guards are less likely to affect one’s dentition.

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