Dental Expert Views: Can I Wear a Night Guard Every Night?

May 01, 2023

What Is a Night Guard?

It is a dental appliance worn while sleeping to protect the teeth from damage caused by grinding or clenching. Teeth grinding and clenching sleep, also known as bruxism, causes many dental problems, such as worn down or cracked teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and even tooth loss.

A night guard typically features a plastic, custom-fitted to your teeth. It cushions teeth and absorbs the forces generated by grinding or clenching to protect teeth from further damage. The guard is usually for the upper teeth, although in some cases, your dentist may customize one for the lower teeth as well.

​When Should You Get a Night Guard?

You should consider getting a mouthguard in Austin, TX if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  1. Tooth pain or sensitivity
  2. Headaches or facial pain
  3. Pain or soreness in your jaw or temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  4. Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  5. Excessive teeth grinding or clenching at night – it is evident to a partner or family member who sleeps nearby
  6. Worn, chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth
  7. Receding gums or loose teeth

What Happens When You Do Not Wear a Night Guard?

Several potential problems can occur when you downplay the recommendation of a dentist near you regarding wearing mouth protectors:

  1. The force of grinding or clenching can cause wear and tear on the tooth enamel, leading to chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth.
  2. Severe tooth damage may result in Premature tooth loss.
  3. Bruxism often causes pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jawbone to the skull. It can cause other symptoms, such as headaches and difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
  4. The constant grinding or clenching of teeth can cause gum recession. It is the pulling back of the gums from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth roots. Other consequences of gum recession are increased sensitivity, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
  5. The noise you generate by teeth grinding or clenching can disturb your partner’s sleep.
  6. The total cost of repairing the damage caused by bruxism can be quite high, not to mention other procedures, such as root canals, crowns, or bridges, that can add up over time.

​Why Are My Teeth Sore After Wearing a Night Guard?

Technically, it is normal to experience some degree of soreness or discomfort when first wearing a night guard. It is because your mouth and teeth must adjust to the new appliance. However, if your teeth continue to feel sore after wearing the night guard for several nights, it may be due to a few possible reasons:

  1. Poor fit: A custom-made night guard is designed to fit your mouth and teeth perfectly, optimizing comfort when you wear it for prolonged periods.
  2. Overuse: Wearing a night guard for too long or too often can cause tooth sensitivity and soreness. Keenly follow the specific instructions your dentist provides regarding the duration and frequency of use.
  3. Clenching or grinding: Sometimes, the problem is that your grinding is too severe for treatment with night guards. In this case, it may be necessary to consider other teeth-grinding or clenching treatments.

How Often Should You Change Your Night Mouth Protector?

Even though your mouth is sore after wearing a night guard for a long, it does not always translate to damaged or worn-down devices. Instead, dentists in Austin, TX, recommend changing your mouth protector at least once annually to address potential wearing down over time due to the constant grinding and clenching of the teeth.

Keep in mind that the protector can wear down over time with usage. Therefore, its effectiveness will decrease with time unless you visit a dentist near you frequently. Routine dental visits at Lifetime Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry let your dentist establish that your mouth protector is still in good condition and providing adequate protection.

However, if you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, holes, or a loose fit, or if it becomes uncomfortable to wear, it may be time to replace your night guard.

Contact Our Dentist To Know More About Night Guard

No one expects you to have it figured out regarding all your health problems. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact our dentist to learn more about night guard for overcoming bruxism.

Book an appointment with dentist in Austin,TX