Night Guard For Teeth Grinding In Calgary

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Do you grind your teeth at night?

Do you wake up with a sore jaw, headaches, or tooth pain? It may be time to get in touch with your dentist about a night guard. A night guard, also known as an occlusal guard, occlusal splint, or bite splint, is a plastic mold that fits over some or all of your teeth — most commonly your top teeth. This guard not only relieves the annoying (and sometimes painful) symptoms of teeth grinding, but it can also prevent long term damage to your teeth.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is the act of clenching your jaw at night (sometimes during the day) and then moving it around so that your upper and lower teeth rub together. This puts excessive pressure on your teeth, severe cases can lead to headaches, jaw disorders, and damage to the teeth. It also puts a lot of pressure on your jaw, hence why you may wake up with a sore jaw.

What Are The Symptoms?

You may not even know you are grinding your teeth at night and could benefit from a mouth guard for teeth grinding. Ask a friend, family member, or spouse to take note while you sleep and see if they hear you grinding your teeth.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for common symptoms of teeth grinding, such as:

  • Pain in your jaw and face
  • Earaches
  • Headaches, especially persistent when you first wake up
  • Discomfort when you open your mouth or move your jaw muscles
  • Increased pain when you chew or eat
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Disruptive sleep
  • Chipped, broken, or loss of teeth
  • Loss of enamel—once enamel wears away you do not get it back and your teeth become more prone to cavities and other dental issues
  • Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD or TMJ), a disorder that impacts the mobility of your jaw. Thankfully, this disorder typically goes away on its own once the underlying problem or cause is addressed

Do you grind your teeth at night?

Relieve tooth pain and headaches with a custom night guard.

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Benefits Of A Custom Night Guard

The number one benefit of a night guard is minimizing the damage bruxism causes to your teeth. However, a night guard can provide many additional benefits including:

  • Prevents morning headaches
  • A better night’s sleep!
  • Relieves jaw tension and pain
  • Decreases the chances of snoring
  • Saves you money in the long run from costly dental fixes

What causes nighttime teeth grinding?

It is common for people to grind or clench their teeth occasionally, but it doesn’t usually cause a problem until teeth grinding becomes a regular occurrence. The problem is that the grinding and clenching often happens at night, and the person doesn’t realize the issues are happening while they are sleeping.

Several factors can increase the risk of teeth grinding and clenching. Identifying the underlying factors can be beneficial so that you can explore other treatments or solutions to use in addition to wearing a night guard:

  • Stress and Anxiety: If you are facing chronic stress due to personal responsibilities, work, or relationships, then the high levels of stress could be taking a toll on your dental health. Look for ways that you can implement stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, a job change, or adjusting your schedule for more self-care time.
  • Abnormal Bite: In some cases, dental or orthodontic treatments can correct the bite and reduce teeth grinding. For example, straightening crooked teeth can help to realign the way the jaw rests. Talk to a dentist to see if specific areas of your bite might be causing the nighttime problems.
  • Missing Teeth: When teeth need to be extracted, the resulting gaps in the mouth can change the way your teeth close together. The best solution is to explore tooth restoration treatments to fill in the gap, helping to reduce the risk of teeth grinding and damage to other teeth.
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep patterns should also be evaluated because sleep apnea can play a role in the severity of teeth grinding. Some patients have found that the treatment for sleep apnea naturally corrects the clenching or grinding problems.

Tips to Reduce Teeth Grinding

A few habits can play a role in teeth grinding at night. Wearing a night guard can be essential for this problem, but you can also change your lifestyle to reduce the tension in your jaw. Here are a few other tips that help with the reduction of nighttime teeth grinding:

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which have both been found to intensify teeth grinding
  • Don’t chew on gum or anything that isn’t food (such as pens and pencils). The chewing motion during the day tightens the muscles and makes it more likely that you will clench at night.
  • In severe cases of teeth clenching, your doctor might recommend muscle relaxant medication before bed.


While the cost of a custom night guard may seem a lot more than the stock variety, you need to consider the costs that a custom night guard will prevent. Bruxism is the leading cause of dental damage and root canals. A root canal is an expensive dental procedure and one that night guards help prevent. As you grind your teeth, you wear down the enamel, increasing the risk of dental decay and injury to the tooth, resulting in more costly dental procedures. Unlike stock mouth guards, a custom guard ensures that your jaw is properly aligned. A stock guard does not do this and disrupting jaw alignment can cause even more issues.

A night guard doesn’t necessarily stop you from grinding your teeth. In fact, researchers admit there is no known way to stop your brain from clenching and grinding your jaw since you cannot control movements in your sleep. So, the next best thing you can do is protect your teeth from damages by shielding them with a night guard. This provides a barrier between your lower and upper teeth and puts some space in between the two. That way, you wear down the guard instead of your natural tooth enamel.

When you are first fitted with a nightguard, it may be a good idea to spend an hour or two the first day wearing it while you are awake. This will help you get used to the feel of the guard being in place. Getting used to the guard in your mouth can feel normal right away or may take months to get used to. Having a custom night guard can usually minimize this process as the guard is made to fit your teeth. The greatest problem with adjustments typically comes from stock night guards.

Dr. Jennifer Silver has helped patients in Calgary relieve annoying and painful symptoms of teeth grinding for the past 15 years! She understands that every patient is unique and a one size fits all night guard just won’t cut it. Contact her today to get fitted for your very own custom night guard.

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