The Truth About Bruxism Mouth Guards: Do They Actually Work?
Are you trying to find a solution for the painful symptoms of bruxism? If so, you may have heard about bruxism mouth guards. Many people use these dental devices as an easy but effective way to manage their bruxism symptoms.
You're probably asking yourself "Do they actually work?" In this blog post, we'll help break down the science behind bruxism mouthguards, explore how they help with pain relief and discuss their potential side effects. We'll even look at why certain types of mouth guard are better than others in terms of treatment effectiveness. With all this answered you'll be informed enough to make an educated decision on if a bruxism mouth guard is right for you!
Although you know that there are Bruxism mouth guards/ night guards out there, you may be hesitant to use one. Perhaps you're skeptical as to whether they really stop you from grinding your teeth AND if they can even help with all the symptoms of your bruxism.
We’ve been there and have seen it in a lot of people just like you and we’re here to tell you that bruxism mouth guards do work and they work well. We’ll tell you all about why they work and how they work in this blog.
Managing Bruxism With Custom-fitted Dental Devices
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Although it's more common to experience bruxism while slipping (sleep bruxism) this painful condition can also occur during the daytime.
Bruxism night guards, known also as night guards, are custom-fitted dental devices designed to protect the teeth from the grinding and clenching associated with bruxism. They are typically made from a soft, pliable material that is comfortable to wear and can absorb the impact of the teeth grinding.
When a person with bruxism wears a guard, the device creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from coming into direct contact with each other. This helps to reduce the amount of pressure and friction on the teeth, preventing damage such as chips, cracks, and wear.
Impact of Bruxism on Daily Life
Bruxism affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, certain demographics are more likely to use bruxism night guards than others. According to research, bruxism is more common in women than men, and it tends to affect adults aged 25-44 years. Also, individuals with high levels of stress and anxiety are more likely to develop bruxism and because of this, may be more likely to use mouth guards to manage their symptoms.
There are a variety of other causes things that can cause bruxism besides stress and anxiety, like misalignment of the teeth and jaw (malocclusion), medications, etc. (The causes of bruxism deserve to be explored in-depth.
Bruxism can have a significant impact on a person's daily life, regardless of age or demographic. In children, bruxism can cause headaches, jaw pain, and tooth sensitivity, which can interfere with their ability to eat, speak, and concentrate in school. In adults, bruxism can lead to more severe symptoms, such as chronic headaches, earaches, and facial pain. It can also cause damage to the teeth, including cracks, chips, and wear, which can result in costly dental procedures.
For older adults, bruxism can be particularly concerning because it can exacerbate existing dental problems or even contribute to tooth loss. The muscle tension associated with bruxism can lead to chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
Bruxism has a negative impact on a person's quality of life, causing discomfort, pain, and even more anxiety. The use of bruxism night guards can help alleviate these symptoms and protect the teeth from damage, but it is important to identify and address the underlying causes of the condition to achieve long-term relief.
Do Bruxism Mouth Guards Really Work?
This barrier prevents direct contact between the teeth and reduces the amount of pressure and friction caused by grinding and clenching. By reducing the impact of bruxism on the teeth, the mouth guard helps to prevent damage such as chips, cracks, and wear.
The soft and pliable material used to make the mouth guard absorbs the impact of the grinding, further protecting the teeth from damage. The use of a bruxism mouth guard can also prevent damage to dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and fillings, which can be more susceptible to damage from bruxism.
There are several different types of bruxism mouth guards available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some can simply be ordered online, while others will need to be custom fitted by a professional. Here are some of the most common types:
- Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards: These are made specifically for each patient by a dental professional. They offer the best fit and protection but are also the most expensive.
- Boil-and-Bite Guards: These are available over the counter and can be molded to fit the patient's teeth after being heated in boiling water. They are more affordable than custom-fitted guards but may not provide as good a fit.
- Stock Mouth Guards: These are also available over-the-counter and are the least expensive option. However, they do not offer a custom fit and can be uncomfortable to wear.
- Dual-Laminate Guards: These are made of both hard and soft materials and offer a balance of comfort and protection. They are more expensive than boil-and-bite and stock mouthguards but less expensive than custom-fitted guards.
One of the biggest questions people usually have after reading the list above is which is the better choice - custom or over-the-counter? Here’s information about each to help you form a comparison:
Custom Mouth Guards
Custom mouth guards are designed to fit a patient's teeth precisely and are created based on the individual's dental anatomy. The process typically involves taking a mold of the teeth and gums, which is then used to create the mouth guard. Custom mouth guards provide the best protection against dental injuries, as they offer a perfect fit and maximum cushioning. They are often recommended for athletes who participate in high-impact sports.
Over The Counter (OTC) Mouth Guards
OTC guards are pre-formed and are available in different sizes but are not customized specially for a persons specific set of teeth. These type of guards are relatively cheaper than custom mouth guards and can be easily found at drug stores or sporting goods stores. Though they may provide some level of protection, they are not as effective as a custom made bruxism mouth guard.
Bruxism Mouth Guards: Pros and Cons
Pros of custom mouth guards include:
- Maximum protection: Since they are designed to fit a patient's teeth precisely, they provide superior protection against bruxism symptoms.
- Maximum Comfort: Custom mouth guards are also more comfortable to wear than over-the-counter mouth guards because they are tailored to the individual's dental anatomy.
- Durability: Custom mouth guards tend to last longer than OTC guards simply because they are made with quality dental grade materials.
Cons of custom mouth guards may include:
- Affordability: If you choose to purchase your mouth guard from a dentist the cost of a bruxism mouth guard can be relatively expensive as the night guards themselves start at roughly $500. Of course, if you choose to purchase from ClearClub you’ll pay less than a fraction of the cost compared to what you would pay your dentist.
- To read more about the cost of night guards read our previous blog post about affordable night guards and how much they should cost
Pros of over-the-counter mouth guards:
The pros of over-the-counter mouth guards are that they are readily available and relatively cheap. They are also easy to use since they do not require a fitting process.
The cons of over-the-counter mouth guards are that they are not as effective as custom mouth guards since they do not provide a perfect fit. They may also be less comfortable to wear and less durable.
However, there are affordable custom-made bruxism mouth guards out there! Check out some by clicking the button below:
How To Choose the Right Bruxism Mouth Guard
When selecting a bruxism mouth guard, there are several factors to consider as the type of guard is important. There are three main types of bruxism mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom-fitted.
Custom-fitted guards offer the best protection and comfort, but they are also more expensive than the other kinds. However, there are affordable options out there, and the cost is worth it when custom-fitted mouth guards offer the best fit, comfortability, and durability.
Boil and bite options are more affordable and can be adjusted to fit the individual's teeth, but they may not provide the same level of protection. Boil-and-bite may fit your teeth, but still don’t fit 100% correctly, may be uncomfortable to wear, and may not provide the amount of relief that custom-fitted ones do. Stock mouthguards are the least expensive but do not provide a good fit and are generally not recommended.
Other factors to consider include the material of the mouth guard, the level of thickness, and the ease of cleaning. The material of the mouth guard should be durable and able to withstand the forces of grinding and clenching. The level of thickness should be appropriate for the individual's needs, and the mouth guard should be easy to clean to maintain good oral hygiene.
It’s important to note that one should consult a dentist to ensure that the mouth guard is appropriate for the individual's needs and that it is fitted correctly to provide optimal protection.
Now that you are aware of the factors to consider when choosing the bruxism mouth guard that is right for you, here’s a list of the next steps to take to getting you the relief and protection you deserve through the right mouth guard:
- Consult with a dentist to determine if a mouth guard is necessary and what type is recommended.
- Decide on the type of mouth guard that fits your needs and budget, whether it is stock, boil and bite, or custom-fitted.
- Choose the appropriate thickness and material for the mouth guard, based on your level of grinding and clenching.
- Research different brands and read customer reviews to find a reputable and reliable option.
- Purchase the mouth guard from a reputable source, whether it is online or in-store.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for fitting and wearing the mouth guard.
- Visit the dentist to ensure that the mouth guard fits properly and provides adequate protection.
How Do I Care for My Bruxism Mouth Guard?
Caring for your bruxism mouth guard is essential to ensure that it remains effective and hygienic. Here are some steps to follow to care for your mouth guard:
- Clean your mouth guard daily: After wearing your mouth guard, rinse it with water and clean it thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to remove any plaque or debris. Avoid using hot water, as it may cause the night guard to warp or lose its shape.
- Store your mouth guard properly: Keep your mouth guard in a clean, dry container that allows air to circulate. Do not leave your mouth guard in direct sunlight or high temperatures, as this may cause it to deform.
- Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals: Do not use abrasive cleaners, alcohol, or other harsh chemicals to clean your mouth guard, as they may damage or discolor the material.
- Replace your mouth guard regularly: Over time, mouth guards can wear down or become damaged, which may reduce their effectiveness. It is important to replace your night guard regularly, as recommended by your dentist.
Caring for your bruxism mouth guard is important for several reasons:
- Hygiene: A mouth guard can harbor bacteria and plaque, which can lead to bad breath, gum disease, or tooth decay. Cleaning your mouth guard regularly can help prevent these issues.
- Effectiveness: A well-maintained mouth guard will provide optimal protection against teeth grinding and clenching. If a guard is not cleaned or stored properly, it may lose its shape, which can reduce its effectiveness.
- Comfort: A dirty or damaged mouth guard can be uncomfortable to wear, which may cause you to avoid using it. By properly maintaining your mouth guard, you can ensure that it remains comfortable to wear.
- Cost-effectiveness: By properly caring for your mouth guard, you can extend its lifespan, which can save you money in the long run. A damaged or worn-out night guard will need to be replaced more frequently, which can add up over time.
Caring for your guard is crucial to ensure its effectiveness, comfort, and hygiene. By following the proper cleaning and storage instructions, you can keep your mouth guard in good condition and extend its lifespan.
Bruxism Mouth Guards for Children
Bruxism guards are one thing for adults to use, get used to, and properly maintain, but it’s a whole different ball game for children, especially when they are still losing teeth and they are still growing.
Bruxism is a fairly common condition in children, especially among those who are still developing their primary (baby) teeth or who have anxiety or stress. In some cases, bruxism in children may resolve on its own as the child's teeth and jaw mature and grow. However, for children who have persistent or severe bruxism, a night guard may be recommended to protect their teeth and reduce symptoms.
Mouth guards for children with bruxism are typically custom fitted to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. They are designed to cushion the teeth and jaws, reducing the impact of grinding and clenching. Night guards for children may be made of different materials, such as silicone or soft plastic, depending on the child's age and level of grinding.
Parents should monitor their child's bruxism and consult with a dentist if they suspect that their child is grinding or clenching their teeth. Early intervention can help prevent long-term dental problems and alleviate symptoms of bruxism in children.
When choosing a bruxism mouth guard, it is important to consider factors such as the type, thickness, and material, as well as proper care and maintenance. Custom-fitted night guards are typically the most effective option, but there are also over-the-counter alternatives that can be a more affordable option.
Overall, bruxism mouth guards can be a valuable tool for managing bruxism and protecting your teeth. With the right guard and proper care, you can reduce symptoms of bruxism and maintain good dental health.
Ready to find the bruxism mouthguard that is just right for you and will provide you with much-needed relief? Shop ClearClub's night guards now!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is bruxism a symptom of?
Bruxism can be a symptom of underlying medical and mental health conditions, such as GERD, epilepsy, ADHD, Parkinson's disease, dementia, night terrors, and sleep apnea. If you're experiencing symptoms such as jaw pain, stiffness or fatigue, or clicking/popping jaw joints, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider. Seeking a proper diagnosis and looking into treatment options like Clearclub's Bruxism mouth guards can be helpful if you suspect that you have bruxism.