nite guards

Nite Guards

Night Guards, Nite Guards, and Mouthguards

Night Guards, also known as Nite Guards or Mouthguards are removable appliances that we use to help patients with specific bite or jaw-related conditions. There is no one accepted term for the device and thus people will use the terms above interchangeably.  

Why would you need a Night Guard?

Night Guards are indicated in certain situations, and it’s important to remember that not all night guards are the same, and that they don’t all treat the same conditions.  These conditions include:

  • Bruxism - bruxism, or teeth grinding, is the classic condition that we think about when people refer to a night guard. People will say, “I grind my teeth at night and I wear a night guard”.  
  • Clenching - clenching, or the squeezing of the jaw muscles and pressuring the teeth, is not the same thing as grinding, and can also be treated with an appliance. 
  • Anterior restorations - porcelain restorations such as dental crowns can cause the opposing natural teeth to wear down over time, and we will often prescribe a night guard to help minimize this wear from occurring.
  • TMD - Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) are the range of conditions that can affect the jaw joint, muscles and associated structures.  People commonly refer to this group of disorders as “TMJ” and one of the ways to treat these problems is with a specialized type of night guard
  • Sleep Apnea - jaw position is one of the factors that can contribute to difficulties with sleep apnea, and we have specifically constructed guards (appliances) that we use to help treat this condition. 
  • Sports guards - this type of guard is used to protect the teeth during contact sports or other activities where there is a risk of getting hit in the mouth or face.

What about a Drugstore Night Guard?

We advise our patients against getting drugstore night guards because wearing the wrong guard for the wrong condition can make matters in the mouth worse. It’s critical that we have a proper diagnosis so we can prescribe the appropriate guard for the patient’s condition.

How are Night Guards Made?

We create molds of your upper and lower teeth and instruct the dental laboratory as to which guard is appropriate for your given situation. In general guards are made out of acrylic-type materials so they can be worn comfortably and cleaned easily.