If you grind your teeth, your dentist has likely recommended that you get a mouth guard to protect your teeth from that nasty habit. Typically, teeth grinding happens at night when you aren’t aware of it, so a mouth guard, otherwise called a night guard, is often prescribed by a dentist. So what kind of mouth guards are available and what are your options?
Grinding your teeth unconsciously at night is a condition referred to as Bruxism. In the long run without protection, it can cause your teeth to be damaged through the breakdown of tooth enamel or even chipping or cracking of the teeth. Once your enamel is damaged, or your teeth are chipped, it cannot be repaired naturally. Damaged teeth can be an expensive fix, not to mention uncomfortable. If left untreated, the constant flexing of the jaw can also lead to sore face muscles and headaches.
Over the counter mouth, guards are plentiful and more-or-less affordable, especially when compared to specialized, or custom made mouth guards. Over the counter mouth, guards cost about $30, and some even claim to be customizable. While these can be a good option for some people, they are never going to be as comfortable or as long-lasting as a custom mouth guard and should be replaced every 3 months because they wear out quickly.
Custom made mouth guards are professionally fitted to your mouth by your dentist and can be extremely long lasting and very comfortable.
The NTI, or nociceptive trigeminal inhibition splint, is a small mouth guard that only protects the front teeth. This type of mouth guard is based on the idea that if your front teeth are protected, then the rest of the teeth can’t be clenched. However, this can lead to teeth becoming misaligned over a long period of use and is not recommended.