Nocturnal bruxism, or teeth grinding, affects about 8-31% percent of the population (and twice as likely if you’re a smoker than non-smoker). More commonly occurring than one might think! We are too proud to admit to people close to us that we need a night guard – it’s not so attractive. But so are chipped or ground teeth or other expensive and irreparable damages! It’s more important to take one small precaution every night to maintain healthy teeth than the alternative. Use a night guard (or scientifically referred to as a dental splint)!
Signs you accidentally grind your teeth:
- You chip a tooth
- Your teeth and/or jaw are sore in the morning, or jaw clicking (or headaches from jaw clenching or neck or face pain)
- Your dentist tells you that you have grind marks (when you go for your biannual cleanings) – And that you may have even gotten a cavity from grinding! This is shown by wear on the teeth or crowns or fillings
- Hypersensitivity (i.e. when drinking a cold beverage)
- Your partner notices
- Bite marks on the tongue
- Recessed gums?
Possible causes: Stress, jaw or teeth misalignment (malocclusion), sleep arousal or nightmares, medications and stimulants (nicotine like in cigarettes, amphetamines, some antidepressants), other pains while sleeping, other physical or mental issues or disorders (epilepsy, sleep apnea), age (many adults grind but also many children under 18)
Please note that any of the above signs might not be present (i.e. you may grind but may not have pain).
What products are our options? Budget –
1) $300-$500 – The most comfortable option would be to get a night guard custom fit by your dentist. The price ranges from $300-$500, depending on location and office.
2) $20 – For most people, get a budget friendly over the counter solution. The boil mold night guards work decently, don’t get the stock night guards that do not mold (not comfortable).
Don’t get: Plackers “Grind No More” non-moldable Night Guards (they slide around), Doctors Advanced brand (too bulky, cant find good fit), DenTek, SleepRight (small, badly shaped, uncomfortable, brittle), Sova (bulky, brittle), SmartGuard Elite (thick, doesnt mold well), Ozdenta, Brux (weird shape), Dental Duty
3) $180 – Have a custom online shop make the night guard for you (skipping the dentist). I.e. ProTeethGuard, or TeethNightGuard (use teeth10 promo code for 10% off)
J&S: Separated by Upper and Lower (only need one) [Amazon Upper, Amazon Lower]
Sentinel $120 – Separated by male and female [Amazon Male, Amazon Female]
Don’t get: SportingSmiles (bad alignment)
More expensive options (See your doctor or dentist) –
2) Veneers, dental implants or ceramics