One of the many side effects of bruxism is the damage that it can do to your teeth. The constant clenching and grinding of your teeth can result in fractured, chipped or even loosened teeth. It can also result in the severe wearing down of the surfaces your teeth, resulting in teeth with worn or flattened ridges, which can make it difficult for you to chew. However, you can prevent damage to your teeth from bruxism by wearing a mouth guard.
What is a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards, or night guards, are dental devices shaped in the form of a retainer that is made of rubber, plastic or a combination of the two and that can cover your teeth. The mouth guards are typically placed over your bottom or top set of teeth to counteract the force your teeth are subjected to when you are unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth. They also prevent your two sets of molars from grinding against each other and damaging the surfaces of your teeth.
Choosing the Right Mouth Guard
There are many different types of mouth guards from which you can choose. When deciding which one you should get to limit the effects of bruxism, there are multiple factors you have to consider, including:
- The material of the mouth guard
- How well it fits
- How much it costs
- Whether it is comfortable
Types of Mouth Guards for Bruxism
- Stock Mouth Guards. These types of mouth guards are pre-formed with no customizable features. Even though they are one-size-fits-all and may fit into your mouth and provide the protection your teeth requires, they may be less comfortable than other types of mouth guards.
- Custom Fit, Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards. If you want a mouth guard that will provide a custom fit, but do not want to go through the hassle of having an impression made of your teeth and waiting for a customized mouth guard to be created in an offsite dental lab, you can use a boil-and-bite mouth guard. These mouth guards are composed of a thermoplastic material that can provide a better fit than stock mouth guards. To get your custom fit, you must boil the mouth guard in water to make the material malleable and then place it inside of your mouth and shape it around your teeth.
- Custom Fit Mouth Guards. Mouth guards that are custom fit are created from a mold of your teeth. This is so that you will have a perfect fit, regardless of what type of material is used. The custom fitting allows the mouth guard to be thinner than other types of guards. It also provides your teeth the protection they need while protecting your jaw from the pain that comes with the frequent clenching all without making it difficult for you to speak, sleep or breathe.
- Daytime Mouth Guards. You can wear these ultrathin mouth guards during the day without them being noticeable. These mouth guards are made of a hard acrylic that provides a flexible fit that provides the protection your teeth needs while allowing you to speak naturally.