a night guard for teeth grinding, worth the money?

bug_girlNovember 3, 2004

Many times with many different dentists it has been suggested, I need a night guard, but I feel that the problem, is not that serious. I feel the damage they are referring to could be normal age related wear and tear.

I feel that all these dentist want to sell me a night guards, when I donÂt really need one. I am quoted all different prices from 300 to even 600 plus.

What is worse, I have heard stories, that people buy them and they canÂt sleep with them on anyway. So, they are a complete waste of money. If I could confirm that I could sleep in one, I would be more likely to buy one. I started to research this topic on news groups on the internet, and found some people saying that a night guard did not help them, even if they managed to wear them. Also they donÂt last that long and have to be replaced over and over again.

Part of me believes that selling night guards to people who donÂt need them is part of an underreported problem, that could merit further investigation by consumer reports types programs.

Does anyone have any further information, or personal experiences with the use of night guards?

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I don't know if I can help you resolve any of your issues. I got a guard ($487) and it really wasn't fitted well so it hurts to wear. I only wear it if I am under extreme duress and the discomfort of wearing it is less than the headache I wake up with otherwise. I think if you have a good dentist who can do a good job of fitting it, you will become accustomed to wearing it and be glad to have it. I think it depends an awful lot too on how sensitive you are. I am a "princess and the pea" kind of person. Nearly anything will keep me awake, but if you aren't like that then there is a better chance that the mouth guard will work for you.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 11:44AM
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This is also my problem, I am also a princess, and I have a lot of trouble with insomnia. Some people claimed they had jaw pain from using them, and maybe they did not fit correctly, in these cases. It seems like a big gamble to take on something non refundable. A small number of people have very serious grinding problems, and have no other choice, but for moderate cases, should this be recommended?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 12:38PM
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I think that it would ease your mind if you got a second opinion on this.

I suspect that a lot would depend on how well the guard fitted. See if your dentist will give you names of some of his other patients that have been fitted. I doubt that he will, but he might.

Just a personal note. I had neck surgery and I was told before I had it that I would have to wear a neck brace that would hold my head slightly back ---night and day for six weeks. I could not imagine that there was anyway in the world that I could tolerate it. And sleep in it??? No Way!! Guess what! It didn't bother me in the least. I slept as well as ever.

So you don't know until you try. The $300-$600 price tag seems a lot, but repairing or capping worn down teeth will run you a lot lot more and if they get worn down until you need dentures, you will really spend some money. And I think I would pay to get the best fit. Your dentist should be able to tell you which is the best.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 2:23PM
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It has been suggested by many different dentists over the years, but I can't see my teeth being worn down to tiny nubs as in an extreme case. In fact, I can't see any thing, going wrong with them. I may look into testing the theory out if I could sleep with something like that in my mouth, however. I think they should provide trail versions so people can test them out. I have looked at photos of them and they seem quite heavy duty in nature, very large and cumbersome.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 3:30PM
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Oh, the problem is not wearing them down to nubs. What happens is that the outer enamel becomes cracked or worn so that the inner pulp is exposed. Then you get cavities, abcesses, root canals, caps and all that pleasant stuff. That could happen soon depending on how sturdy and sound your teeth are. That's not really a thick layer of enamel on the chewing surfaces. It can get cracked easily. One root canal job will cost more than that guard.

However, it's your mouth and your pocketbook. Your decision needs to be one that you are comfortable with.

Good luck. I can understand your reluctance to do this.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 4:49PM
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I needed a night guard long before I finally broke down and got one. I clench rather than grind and it put so much stress on my teeth that I cracked one. Root canal and crown required and I may still lose the tooth. I also experienced a lot of tooth sensitivity around the gum line. Mine fits properly. The dentist who did the fitting is a TMJ expert. I am also a "princess and the pea" kind of gal. I sleep with it fine. I actually know a man in his late 40s who has worn his teeth down to numbs from night grinding. He now wears a guard but too late to prevent all the damage he already did.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 9:38PM
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I cannot sleep without my night guard, which I've worn for years. The first kind was soft, like a sports guard, cumbersome, turned sickly yellow, smelled etc. My dentist replaced it with a better, low profile, hard plastic type, and it's great. Doesn't turn yellow, or smell. Fortuneately, I can breath easily through my nose, even reasonably with a cold, so wearing one, and the initial break in period was not that big a deal. You must give it some time to get used to wearing it, at least a week. I grind, so said a previous dentist, as well as my long time current one. My front teeth clearly show wear, and fillings don't last as long as they could, due to the wear and tear. Bug Girl, Does your jaw ache at all in the morning, or do you experience any headaches, or any other discomfort in your mouth? I swore I didn't but apparently, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so it was hard to believe when the dentists told me.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 8:34AM
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I wore a guard for several years and had no trouble. Since then my teeth have "shifted" and when I tried it after a couple of years it wasn't comfortable.

My friend's granddaughter was told by her dentist to just go and buy the football players guard that you put into hot water, I think, and then you fit it to your teeth. They tried that and the dentist saw improvement in a short time. This only costs a few dollars and you can buy them at Walmart. It's worth a try. I'm going to try that.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 1:15PM
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Bug_Girl, I understand your skepticism. For a while I went to a dentist who recommended a nightguard to every person I know who went to him (he was close to my office and in the basic insurance plan). He also told me I needed a crown.

I went back to my old dentist (now I just pay out of pocket) and many years later I have neither a night guard or a crown.

But if you've received the same recommendation from many dentists, it might be a good idea. Do you have a friend who has a dentist he/she really trusts, where you might be able to get a deciding opinion?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 10:43AM
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I've worn a few different kinds for the last couple of years. I clench A LOT and grind a little.

1. soft fitted to the top teeth. Too soft as I made indents in it quickly.

2. TMJ Splint. Fits over the first two front teeth on top. Tried it to prevent migraines. Problem..When clenching I pushed against the splint. It's suppose to stop grinding and clenching. It didn't as I ground a groove into it rather quickly and was pushing my front teeth out (my fear was I'd make myself bucked toothed). I could actually tell my bite changed - I couldn't bite my nails. Good thing but bad thing.

3. Harder plastic that fits on the bottom teeth. This has worked great. I still clench, but my teeth don't hurt in the morning.

All have actually fit well, the TMJ Splint did cause the small space between my front teeth to widen a little (I could feel it, but no one could see it). When I quit wearing it my teeth returned to their normal position.
It's been worth the money to me. I rinse it off everymorning, if I don't it gets a tarter build up and I have to scrub it out. I brush it about once a month. It hasn't turned yellow yet, and it's a year old.

My dentist applied all the money I paid for the TMJ splint to the newest bottom teeth splint as I tried it for 6 months and it wasn't doing what it was suppose to do. He's made any adjustments to the splints/guards I've needed (only the TMJ, the others fit fine).


    Bookmark   November 8, 2004 at 12:34PM
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If you are wearing off your teeth it is worth every penny of it. If you can find a good dentist he will warranty his work. I am not grinding that I know of, but am clinching my teeth and flattening them on the edges. If I don't stop the dentist will have to cap all of my teeth, that will be very expensive.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2004 at 6:15PM
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I am still not believing there is a problem, because I don't have jaw pain. I don't think I even grind. I think each dentist wants to sell me something I don't need.

I am almost 40 and I have not yet done damage (or at least not anything more then normal wear and tear), so I don't believe I really need one. If I live 40 more years with the same problem and no night guard, then I can't see how it could be a problem. If my life span was 500 years, then there might be some damage at 300 years, in which case I would get one.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 11:30AM
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It sounds as if you have made up your mind not to get one. We have no way of knowing how much, if any, damage has been done. It could be that you really don't need one. Some dentists do look for work that is not really needed. That's human nature. Others are more honest and dependable. If you don't trust this one, and it sounds as if you don't, you certainly should find one that makes you feel confident. They are out there, you just have to look.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 1:42PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I'm so glad I got mine. My dentist showed me how my teeth fit together perfectly and explained that people have some pointed teeth. I don't. They are ground down. I still didn't believe him until in the middle of the night I woke up because my cheeks really really hurt. My teeth were clenched tightly together.

I was about 40 at the time. I have had 3 or 4. The one I have now fits over my top 6 teeth. It keeps my back teeth from touching, but I can drink and talk with it in. You cannot grind nor clench if your jaw doesn't touch. My daughter went to a dentist who said that mine is old fashioned. He gave her a thing that went across all her teeth. She hated it, and still ground her teeth. Mine is quite small. I do take it out for long conversations, but brief ones, I leave it in. It was about $300, but may be more now. It's about 5 years old. He adjusts it every year or so.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 7:17PM
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Not only is the money a problem, but I don't think I could sleep with in. I have a retainer, and I slept with it as a test, and I dreamed about it, and then woke up after 45 minutes and I had to take it out, and it not as bulky as a night guard.

My teeth just don't appear damaged to me. I never have jaw pain.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 10:18PM
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Hi Laurel! I can understand where your coming from. Finding a good, honest dentist can be the pits. When I moved down here I chose a dentist who's wife was our mayor. After Xrays & cleaning, he said I had 7 cavities. This just didn't sit right with me, I've got so much silver in my mouth, I don't think I have 7 teeth left to fill. I called my old dentist, who was a customer of my Dad's gas station. I made the hour 20 minute drive up. He said I had 1 cavity, filled it, & I was on my way. I never went back to mayor's hubby. I then tried another dentist in town for the kids after my Ex complained that I was still driving to my old dentist; this new one supposedly participated in his plan. I had a follow up appt for him to coat my daughters molars. When she went in, they asked what she was there for, she didn't know. Instead of coming to the waiting room & asking me, he filled a baby tooth that fell out in 3 weeks. I refused to pay for it.

I found a new dentist for me (kids still go to old dentist) since I have the worst dental insurance. So far I have put up with comments from the wife (secretary) that she didn't think I was billed properly by old temporary help, as well as how crappy my insurance is. I let new dentist do a root canal on me- only he wasn't sure which tooth it was. I'm now left with a tooth that has pain that never did (hot/cold sensative). I still have to find time to go back to have him fix it, then I think I'm going back to my old guy & will pay out of pocket.

I had a mouth guard when I was married to my Ex. I was under a lot of stress & was clenching / grinding. I did wear it for a while but stopped. I hated it. I wonder if you can find a mail order one? I wear shoe inserts & see there is a company that mails you forms that you step in & send back- wonder if there is a service for mouth guards like this.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 5:31AM
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Yes, there are ones you can buy that are not custom made, but it is a bit nerve racking because if it doesn't fit right, the problem could be made worse even. I did a lot of research on Usenet groups.

Go to Google and click the "groups" and type in night guard. It told me more information then I wanted to know, and most of it was unfavorable, but a few people seem to like their night guard, but the majority quit wearing them after a while.

There is one called "The doctors night guard", I heard about on the radio and if you also search the web for night guard, many different non custom made one's will show up.

Some may be buyable at rite aid. I have basically decided not to spend the money, because this is a very bad time for us money wise, and we really can't afford anything right now.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 8:29PM
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Well, I bought an over the counter product called the DoctorÂs night guard only because I had this incredible pain from a root canal, and it was worse due to grinding. It does not work, basically, it does not fit at all and does not stay on. The manager at the Longs promised I could return it, but I feel bad about doing so. It canÂt stay in my mouth, and would basically just fall out during the night.
I was desperate for a good nights sleep, but at least I only lost 25.99 plus tax and not 600 dollars, or something like that. Maybe I will try to return it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 10:46PM
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No one has mentioned calcium and magnesium. I've read more than once that taking these supplements at night can eliminate bruxism, or teeth grinding.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 10:49PM
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you live alone? teeth grinding's something that a roomate can often hear in the next room- actually, it drove me out to the couch on a few occasions with one BF- but I was also there the night he shattered one of his molars.

if getting a jock's mouth guard, and checking for yourself (it's really not that hard. put it in your mouth. in the morning, rub something colored on your teeth- lipstick works fine. bite gently. check and see if the indents are deeper than your 'normal' bite) isn't worth the peace of mind...

then just think about how much oral surgery would set you back.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 1:39PM
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I am coming to this discussion very late. I have the ability to chew through just about every night guard I have ever tried in just a few months. At $300 to $500 each and no insurance to pay for it, that is just plain expensive. I found the sleep right night guard which works well for me. I can still chew through it, but if I do in less than 90 days, it will be replaced. They cost anywhere from $40 to $70 depending on where you buy them.

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 8:17PM
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Wow ,
after all this time i am releived to know that i am not the only toothgrinder :-) .
i have wore/cracked at leat 2 of my molars to the point that they have had to be pulled .
i have been thinking about getting one of those things
but due to the fact that i wore braces for most of my teenage years kinda makes me thinking about running off screaming in the opposite direction
as still havent forgot that yucky taste of the mold cream
in my mouth .... GAG .

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 4:22PM
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I suggest a mouth guard from an athletic supply store. You can mold it to fit your teeth yourself, and it costs much less than a mouth guard from the dentist. In fact, that's what my dentist recommended to me!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 9:57PM
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As a practicing dental hygienist for 23 years now, and currently a healthcare consultant, I can say that the need for and effectiveness of night guards varies widely. We (the dental profession) in all these years still do not have one accepted treatment modality for dealing with TMJ or brusixm (teeth grinding). I am a bruxer, having started as a teenager after I finished ortho.

There are some pretty agressive Dentists out there ( I temped for one for awhile ) that will claim that night guards will cure anything from insomnia to stress to weight gain. Anyway, my anteriors are pretty worn, but some of this is due to natural wear and age, not just the bruxism. I had a night guard for awhile - my boss made it and custom fitted it for free, but I stopped wearing it. Just could not stand the discomfort.

Some with true severe TMJ pain that does not resolve (most is stress related and will resolve on its own without any clinical intervention) may get some relief from a night guard, if it is properly fitted, because it is designed to place the relationship btw your upper and lower jaw in a more physiologically correct and comfortable position.

Anyway, there is no one size fits all remedy. I say if you are not having and TMJ pain or clincal problems such as wearing through your enamel and into the dentin, or chipped anterior teeth, then your DDS may just be trying to sell you something you don't need and won't use. If you develop symptoms down the road, you can always get one at that time. Also, this is often stress related, so think about that and see if you can identify any possible causes there. Young children also often grind their teeth, due to the fact that their upper and lower jaws are growing at differnt rates and they are subsconsiously trying to find a comfortable position for their teeth to rest.

Also, a 2nd opinion never hurts. Even from the local dental school. It could also be that your DDS is highly prevention oriented and is trying to give you some good advice. Hard to say without a clinical exam.

Lynne in Calfornia - RDH, MA

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 2:06PM
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I bought a "Doctor's Night Guard" for $25 at Walgreens last week. It's basically a "fit it yourself" night guard and seemed like it was going to work until I accidentally destroyed it. The problem was that my first fitting wasn't quite right so I tried to alter the fitting by re-boiling it. Mistake - it melted completely. The company SWEARS they will replace it and work with me to get it fitted properly. I'll let you know what happens.
(Warning! Tangent approaching!) SIDE EFFECT: When my partner got a night guard from his dentist, there was an unexpected side effect: He stopped snoring. I am *absolutely* *not* *kidding*! REALLY DRAMATIC improvement. My guess is that the guard must hold his teeth apart just enough to keep the throat open - just enough to keep tissues apart and prevent snoring. Now, I know there are many things that cause snoring and some people who test this out might not get any improvement at all. Still, in this one case, it's really clear that the night guard stopped the snoring. When I think about the number of relationships that have been harmed - sometimes ended - by a partner's snoring, testing to see if a night guard might help seems like it would be worth the gamble. YMMV.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 5:41AM
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I also bought one at Longs and it was not easy to do. In fact, I did it wrong either the plastic was the wrong temperature or I bit it wrong, or both, and I returned it however, with all receipts and packaging, and they gave me my money back. Which was odd because I ruined myself, but I think it is nearly impossible to do it correctly. One would have to buy many of them and have many test runs. Maybe one could buy one and have a dentist help with the fitting?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 11:18AM
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While browsing for info on the web, I stumbled across a dental lab in Georgia that offers a custom night guard kit for $99. Their kit takes you through the exact same procedure you'd go through at the dentists office: Using the materials in the kit, you create the dental impressions and mail them off to the lab. In a few days the lab will send you a custom night guard made using your dental impressions. This was the same procedure that my partner went through when getting his "official" night guard from the dentist. This sounds like it might be more suitable for you, since you've had so much difficulty getting a good fit. Just type "night guard" into google and you'll find several places offering the service. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: dental lab that offers $99 night guard kit

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 3:34PM
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I got one, the hard one that fits on the bottom teeth, and it cost $125 (from the dentist and in NYC). Depending what kind was recommended, I guess you could shop for a better price from other dentists. However, when I got it, I really needed it. I also put it off, not wanting to spend out of pocket and by the time I decided he was right, I had some jaw pain and "clicking" in the joint. I wore it for a while and it helped the jaw stuff, then I let it go. Big mistake - chipped a tooth and cracked a filling, which cost $300 to replace.

And I also chewed pieces of it off, so forget the cheaper soft ones from the drugstore. I'm also on board with agressive doctors/dentists who are doing the hard sell, so I think that you have to judge for youself when the cost is the lesser issue (as if, right?). Repairing damaged teeth will always cost more, though.

It does take a little getting used to to sleep with it and I have found it in the oddest places come morning, like stuck to DH's forehead, so apparently I'm doing way more interesting things than teeth grinding in my sleep. My vote in the end is that it was worth it.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 10:26AM
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I'm a teeth-clencher myself. The most bothersome part of it for me aren't sore jaws or headaches, but sore gums. I wake up in the mornings with gums that are bleeding slightly.

I saw my dentist last week, who told me that (a) the gum soreness is a residual effect of bruxing (it's not due to gingivitis--I brush and floss twice daily), and (b) I should consider a nightguard.

Since nightguards only mitigate bruxism, rather than stop it, I'm worried that a nightguard won't do anything for me. In fact, a few days ago I bought a Doctor's Night Guard, and it only made the problem worse--I think my brain, while asleep, sensed an object in my mouth and told my teeth that they had to clench to keep it intact.

Any thoughts? Anyone else had gum problems from bruxism?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2006 at 11:33AM
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I had a night guard but was in denial that I really needed it until I broke one of my teeth. After wearing it I found my jaw is feeling better and I don't wake up with a headache. It has helped me with weight gain, I brush floss and put it in after dinner, it keeps me from snacking.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2006 at 3:56PM
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What kind of night guard did you try?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 8:48PM
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I used to grind and clench my teeth for years. I suffered jaw pain and clicking, headaches, tooth sensitivity, a cracked tooth, and gum recession. I've also needed to have most of the mercury amalgam fillings replaced in the large molars. And I HATED the dentist too. Ugh.

One of the 1st molars didn't have enough tooth left after the dentist replaced the filling, so the tooth cracked and needed a crown (no root canal).

In another large molar, the dentist botched the new composite filling, decay occured under the filling, and that tooth became badly infected and needed a root canal and crown.

There's more, but the upshot is that I think bruxism was at the root of a lot of my dental problems.

Chewing on food is normal activity for teeth, but the action of bone grinding against bone is not. Even worse is a porcelain crown grinding against bone.

I have had two mouth guards over the years, and they aren't perfect but they do protect the teeth. The hard one was better than the soft one, because it held up better, plus your teeth can't bite into it, they just slide over the hard surface when grinding or clenching.

When I was 39, I was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, and when that was treated, I stopped grinding my teeth and haven't worn the mouth guard since!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 10:58PM
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Aindc, I also had a lot of gum sensitivity during periods of time when I was under a lot of stress and grinded my teeth heavily. A dentist once explained that this was because when you grind your teeth, the teeth rock back and forth slightly, irritating the gums.

I think a night guard would help you, but think about one that is as small and hard as possible. Your teeth won't have much to clench into that way, and as I mentioned above, the teeth will tend to slide along the hard plastic as opposed to clench into it.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:00AM
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I'm sorry I haven't checked on this post for awhile. I had mine made at the dental office, I was lucky that my insurance paied for it. They decided it would be cheaaper in the long run. It is hard plastic and was fitted. The care of the guard the dental office recomended was a bit gross, wear it rinse it put it in the holder with cold water. I keep a bottle of dish soap in the bathroom and wash the guard before I put it back(summer it gets hot in my bathroom) I also wash the container. Every once in a while I soak the whole mess in proxide.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 5:30PM
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ok... make sure you consider the causes of your teeth grinding first and some lifestyle changes that may help... but if it is severe you should see a dentist perhaps to confer. although there ARE adjustable night guards you can get which would save alot of time and money... that is definatley an option to consider.

Here is a link that might be useful: Night Guards

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 6:56PM
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Hi All,
All of these posts really help me understand the problem. I didn't even know that I was grinding or clenching my teeth. I do not wake up with any kind of pain. Five years ago when I was sharing a room with a roommate in college, she never said or heard anything and I didn't have any problem back then. I graduated, got a job, bought a house then two years later, I noted there are cracks on my teeth near the gum lines. The dentist at first told me I was an aggressive brusher which is unbelievable. I could be an aggressive brusher but not to the point of wearing down the teeth. He suggested a night guard. later on, many different dentists told me that they concerned about the aggressive wearing on the molar surface. Some said that I chew wrong, other said I grind. No other explanation of the crack at the gum line. Finally, one dentist told me that the cracks were due to the grinding and clenching which makes more sense than the aggressive brusher. All of the above posts helped clarify these mysteries to me. Stress brought on the problem which I didn't have before. Cracking, tooth sensitive, worn out molars etc are serious problems even I still up to date don't feel the pain after waking up. I got the Doctors Night Guard to try it. I didn't fit it right until I gave it a second chance (a year later). You have to suck on the guard when fitting to create a vacuum to fit tightly around your teeth otherwise, it will fall out. The question is do I have to wear it the rest of my life? or is there a period that the problem will go away? I do get chapped upper lip in the morning from wearing the guard. It is indeed uncomfortable but doable.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 6:11AM
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I've been wearing one every single night for nearly 20 years. I am a grinder but also never had any pain. It was clear, however, that I was wearing down my teeth too quickly. I started wearing one around 30; I'm 50 now and my teeth are in great shape. You'll be thankful you started to wear one twenty years from now!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I started using a night guard 5 days ago, got it from my Dentist. I am now experiencing a "discomfort" in my jaw during the day and feel like I am constantly pushing my tongue against my back teeth. This is very aggravating. Any one have any experience with this? I am hoping that I will adjust to the night guard and the new jaw "pain" will go away.(not really a pain, more like it feels like my lower jaw is pushing forward.)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 5:57PM
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To clarify, I only wear the guard at night, and now have jaw discomfort all day long...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 6:02PM
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Bug Girl, go for the night guard before it's too late. I am 45 now. At 39 I started grinding and clinching my teeth, although I was not aware of it. Within a year I noticed that my gumlines had receded a bit. The suggested a night guard, but he was so ambivalent about it that I didn't give it serious thought. I wish I had! As a result of constant grinding and clinching I started getting headaches and stiff necks in the morning. But it all took 4 years to happen and I never connected my pain to clinching. Finally, 4 months ago I got tinnitus(the constant ringing in the ears) also a direct result of clinching teeth. My teeth still look alright and are not worn out or anything. So don't count on it as a sign! But the gumline on some of my teeth have receded so much that the roots are exposed and although I have a cap on the tooth, but now it needs root-canal. That means a major operation because the tooth is also connected to a bridge. I basically have managed to destroy my teeth and give myself all sorts of neurological problems in just 6 years (that will make you 46, not 80!) through grinding and clenching without being ever aware that I was actually doing it at night. Go for it! It's just a thin piece of plastic in your mouth. You will get used to it before you know it!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 3:18PM
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I got mine a couple of days ago..I do not have any problem in wearing it by night, i can stand the sensation, but i cannot sleep with it in my mouth..And that's because i cannot close my mouth..How do you people get along with this? I do not grind my teeth anymore, but my mouth dries up and i feel thirsty..
Is is something wrong with mine, should I go back to the dentist, or am I the "defectous" one? As I see in this long thread nobody says anything about this..

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 11:34AM
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I did not read all the posts here, but I did read a few saying they didn't like it.....I have had mine for a few years now.....I LOVE IT......Mine fits on the bottom teeth....it came from the dentist. I will say it was expensive, but I don't remember how much.....just that it seems sooooo high for this rubbery thingy.....LOL....but I can't sleep without it....Wished I had gotten one when I was younger...My dentist said that I might spit it out at first, but I never did....and to watch that the dogs LOVE these.....LOL.....I use Polident to soak for an hour or so in the morning, they rinse and put in the little case it came in.....It's like anything, you have to just get used to it.....no more sore jaw either....

Good Luck to you!!!!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 12:30AM
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do any nightguards allow one to close one's mouth/lips during sleep? The custom-made one i just got ($470!!!) won't let me close my lips naturally, and i can't stand mouth breathing at night. :(

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 7:42PM
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It is cheaper to have your night guard wear through than having your teeth wear through!!!

A night guard could run you between $400 to $1000, depending on insurance, location, etc.

One way to get around high night guard prices is to go out and buy a sports mouth guard. Those run ten bucks or so and will protect your teeth just as well. Might not be as comfortable, but a heck of a lot cheaper!

Here is a link that might be useful: Night Guard Cost

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:05PM
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1. DONÂT USE SPORTS MOUTH GUARD -they're not custom fitted; they're too big and bulky, uncomfortable, and then you won't use it.

2. DO USE A CUSTOM FITTED MOUTH GUARD - this is a much smaller, and more effective so-called 'appliance'

3. BUY FROM ONLINE CUSTOM MFGR. Cost: ~$99 with a 30 day guarantee. My dentist wanted $500!! Dentists make wayyy too much money - ask any banker who deals with them. See: www.nightguardlab.com or Google 'night guard'.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 2:07AM
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I checked this forum to see what the group had to say. The variety of opinions and experiences is interesting.

I have had a custom made "bite guard" for about 10 years. I had severe TMJ before I finally got braces in my 30s. There is permanent damage to my right jaw joint from that. It still crunches sometimes due to damaged cartilage.

It was later that my dentist recommended I get the guard due to severe jaw clenching at night. I don't think I grind but the clenching was causing jaw pain, and headaches.

I had little trouble adapting to the plate. Anybody who has gotten used to sleeping with a wire, night retainer knows one can get used to sleeping with just about any "torture", and the plate was nothing like that. It's possible that a good fit is the key.

The guard has worked extremely well - my jaw pain and fatigue and the popping noises disappeared. I slept better. I even seemed to clench less during the day when I didn't wear it.

I can see where some people with sensitive gag reflexes or a drool problem might have trouble adapting. All I can say is that it worked for me.

Mine did get yellowish, despite cleaning with denture cleaner and brushing daily. Like dentures, it's not something you want to leave laying around for others to have to look at. ;)

The problem is that I recently lost the guard. I think it got thrown in the trash by mistake or else the dog ate it.

After insurance coverage, the cost of a new one is still around $200. The dentist said to go ahead and try one from the drugstore, preferably one of those that you boil which can mold to your teeth. They seem to range in price from about $15 to $40.

Only when I checked online for the kinds available (of which there are many), there was a warning with every one NOT to use it if one has diagnosed TMJ. My dentist thinks this is to protect them from some medical liability problem, which makes sense if they don't fit very well.

So I'm back to maybe having to spend the $200. (Note to users: Always put it away in its case after removing.)

As far as dentists getting "too much money" - well perhaps that's true, but my dentist spent almost an hour making sure the plate was a *custom* fit to *my* teeth - no looseness, no pinching. And he adjusted it if I got fillings. I would bet no online store offers that kind of service. Do they even have a warranty? So keep that in mind when considering going the cheaper route.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:09PM
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My dentist has recommeded a night cuard as I grind and clench and often have bleeding. I hesitate to put a foreign object in my mouth. Sleeping is hard enough with prostate issues and sensitivity to sounds, etc. Noone has mentioned the potential problem of saliva reacting with the plastic. We know that plastic containers do react with food and liquids and leech chemicals. Do we want this in our blood streams? No dentist will mention this. Does anyone have information on this? Ideas?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 12:55PM
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Many years ago my dentist said I ground my teeth at night and made a night guard for me. It cost a couple hundred after insurance. It was semi-hard, fit the top teeth, and I needed to run hot water over it every night before wearing it. It was hard to talk with it and a pain to run water until it was hot every night.

About 3 years ago my new dentist recommended getting a more modern mouth guard. My old one was really grungy by then. I got a new one that fit the bottom teeth, was hard and clicked into place and stayed, making it easy to talk. It was also a couple hundred after insurance. It was comfortable and easy to sleep with and worked well. However after about a year of wearing it I put it in my PJ pocket and it got destroyed in the washer.

I've tried a couple of sports mouth guards since then, but both have resulted in puffy, sensitive lips even if I clean the guards daily and/or store them either dry or in soap or peroxide. Lately I've been doing without, but find myself grinding again. I'm thinking of going back to my dentist and getting fitted for a hard one again. Googling "nightguard" I see cheaper ones "one size fits all" or middle priced fitted ones that are tempting, but would be about the same price as the dentist's one with insurance.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 8:08PM
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My dentist also said I needed one. At his $500 price I was stalling. Then I saw several different kinds offered in Walmart, in the $20 to $30 range. The first one I tried, one you soften in hot water and form around your teeth, worked but was too bulky. I wore it but was too conscious of it, plus I couldnÂt close my mouth well over it. The second one is perfect. Most of it just covers the molars, with just a thin band in front to hold it on place.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:51PM
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One way to get around high night guard prices is to go out and buy a sports mouth guard. Those run ten bucks or so and will protect your teeth just as well. Might not be as comfortable, but a heck of a lot cheaper!

Here is a link that might be useful: Teeth Whitener

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 7:08AM
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I found Dr Brux night guard to be great and they come in different colors. got 20 bucks off using coupon hot20 at http://drbruxnightguard.com

Here is a link that might be useful: site

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 12:54PM
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I have been a constant grinder for the past 15 years. A night guard is a definite must. My teeth are quite damaged. I've tried different types, a dentist made acrylic custom made guard as well as the softer, boil to fit pharmacy types. From my experience, the hard custom acrylic night guard was much more comfortable. It also lasted 5 years. The pharmacy night guards leave my jaw tired in the morning. I think I end up clenching the soft plastic like a piece of gum.

For those considering a hard acrylic, I would recommend you stay away from nightguardlabs.com. Terrible service and terrible product. It took almost 2 full months before I received my completed night guard. The customer service department had excuse after excuse. The night guard itself was poor quality. After a little more than a month of use, the night guard is falling apart. Definitely, not worth $175. I paid my dentist $300 for a custom night guard, but that one lasted 5 years. Stay away.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:40AM
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I have used a bite guard for about 3 years now. Mine is starting crack on one of back ends and I was considering replacing it. The one I have was about $600. I had to pay $175 out of pocket and insurance thankfully paid the rest. The thing with my insurance though is that they will only pay for one bite guard, ever, period. I was thinking about going through teethnightguard.com. The procedure this lab describes (sending a kit for a mold impression and then sending back the guard) sounds like what I remember the dentist doing but for about $130.00 plus shipping & handing. I am willing to try this since I think I having the guard for bruxism has made a big difference. I was waking up with headaches and sore jaw before wearing a bite guard. I admit it took a few weeks to get used to wearing before I slept all the way through the night wearing it. I thought it was annoying and uncomfortable at first. There was nothing wrong with the fit or anything, I just was uncomfortable having something in my mouth propping my jaw open while I was trying to sleep. I felt like I couldn't breathe very well and seemed to produce more saliva; I persisted and kept trying to use the guard each night. I gradually noticed I was sleeping longer stretches of time before I woke up and took the guard out until I found I slept through the night. For me this was not an easy thing to just get used to but now I prefer having it in at night when sleeping. Yes, I find having to run it under hot water to be inconvenient but oh well, its part of the nightly getting ready for bed routine to run it under the bathtub faucet or go downstairs to the kitchen. The water runs hot the fastest under those two faucets.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:43AM
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I got my first night guard about 10 years ago, and at the time was appalled by the cost. I had tried the cheap, adjustable SleepRight one and found the bottom band that holds it in place rubbed my lower front gums and made them very sore. It was too uncomfortable to wear for very long, so I ponied up the money for a custom guard from my dentist that fit over all my bottom teeth. Back then it cost somewhere around $350, but any and all subsequent fit adjustments were included in the price. My dentist readjusted it and even patched worn spots many times over several years, so in the end the price was worth it.

It took a little while to get used to wearing it, but it was pretty comfortable once all the fit adjustments were done. The tricky thing about it was I *wanted* to bite it and chew on it, so even though it was protecting my teeth it really wasn't causing me to change my habit. Protection-wise, it did work well for me for years. My biggest complaint was just that cleaning was a hassle, and required extra time every morning to scrub with a toothbrush. I even popped it into my ultrasonic jewelry cleaner once a week to get in all the nooks and crannies.

However, I went to my dentist this week and he recommended a new kind of night guard that is the tiniest one I have seen! It fits over just your two front teeth, and is made of a sort of clear rigid plastic. It looks to be a lot more comfortable, and I think I would be more likely to wear it every night (with the full guard I had before I would cheat!) and even take it with me when I travel. I found the manufacturer's page on the web if anyone is curious. It's called the "NTI Plus." My dentist says he's been having great results with it. I'm going to get one!

Here is a link that might be useful: NTI Plus

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 1:39PM
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I got a hard plastic upper guard from my dentist ($800) about 4 years ago. This device stopped the teeth wear but as one who grinds and clenches I still managed to kill a molar and had to have a root canal.
Then I got the NTI device for my lower teeth and that seemed to work well but after a year now I see that I am wearing down my central incisors. My new dentist is recommending a hard upper guard like I had (old one no longer fits) at $800 in addition to wearing the NTI. Not happy about that! Will look into the GA. lab referred to above (cost is now $150).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:46PM
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I have worked in the dental field for 19 years and grind my teeth at night and always have. I wear a night guard and love it! I find it hard to sleep with out it. There are some that are big and bulky , but there are new materials out that are amazing! The one I wear now has a soft liner and a hard outer surface, it is small and light , and I can speak clearly with it in. You should ask your Dentist about this type, It is worth the money because it is like an Insurance policy for you teeth it helps protect them from preventable wear and tear!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 4:23PM
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It was explained to me by a very expensive dentist that clinching your teeth causes what seems to be receding gums. Clinching cause the enamel along the gum line to flake off. I have worn my lower teeth off by clinching, but since I have an upper denture I can take those out a night, but I think the damage is already done. The dentist told me if it gets painful it will mean a root canal and a cap on each tooth affected.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:03PM
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Boys and girls - you can buy a "nite guard" anti grinding insert at any drug store for between $25 and $50. I've had one I bought and Walgreens for over a year and it helps. Actually I've almost ground all the way through it and need another one. End of conversation.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 12:17PM
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I also grind my teeth, and my dentist wanted to charge $400 for a custom dental guard. I managed to find a great off-the-shelf night guard for only SGD40. This is made in the US and is FDA approved. I've been using for 6 months now, and it's very comfortable. You can get it at http://dysonware.com.au/shop/doctors-nightguard-advanced-comfort-grinding-bruxism-p-84.html or http://stores.ebay.com.sg/sgbestseller

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:10AM
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I got a night guard about a month ago. Both my dentist and oral surgeon said I have TMJ and suggested that I get one. I could have gotten one from Walmart but because I also grind my teeth it would have ripped the guard. I have a custom made one and I have had no problems with my jaw, muceles etc. It all depends on if you have headachs, soreness of the jaw, teeth problems (thin enamel, wearing down of the teeth etc). I know the night guard I have is $500 but because of insurance I payed $25 even then it has made a big differnce. No pain, no soreness, no headachs, less weaing of teeth. With in a week in my night guard I saw teeth marks from clenching and grinding and I thought that I didn't grind or clench but I guess I do. I would suggent that you talk to an orthodontist or oral surgeon before you get one to see if you really need one.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:20AM
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I have severe PTSD and am n constant pain. I took an antidepressant and noticed it made my nightmares worse and my teeth started chipping. I have been in almost constant pain for 3 1/2 years now. I am currently using an over the counter boiled and fitted one that works OK, but I don't think the jaw and neck pain will ever go away. My dentist tells me I will bite through one he makes for 400.00. I have seen several endodontists and 4 dentists now and no one seems to know what to do. One dentist sent me to a chiropractor and promised me he would not "crack" anything. I went, told the chiro to please make nothing crack. He made my neck crack anyway (he was very cocky about his expertise) and now I have 2 to 3 days of pain that makes me want to die. The OTC rubber mouth guard helps my teeth. But I don't think anything is going to help me. I have lost one tooth at the beginning when I didn't realize what was going and that this was serious damage. For the initial poster: I had a dentist for decades who didn't make mouth guards. I tried tomention to him that my teeth were feeling like the enamel was feeling "chalky" and that my medicine seemed to make my teeth snap at night. He ignored me until it got so bad in that one tooth. He sent me to someone else finally and they sold me one of the NTIs for a fortune. It was so hard that it bent my front teeth and THEY started to hurting. I am in hell. If you can use a mouth guard to prevent what I am going through, do it. I should have had one 4 years before I did and now my teeth are out of alignment, my jaw hurts all day and all night. I am in hell. I do not have an answer. No dentist has an answer. No therapist has an answer. No psych has an answer. I even take a new med to help with nightmaares. It does help some until it wears off. This pain has completely halted my life.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 4:25PM
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My dentist suggested a night guard and I got it. Although I hate any smell from plastic or alike material, I still tried to wear it during night. Until one day, my inside lip got ulcer and it lasts more than 1 month and never heales till today. No doctor can tell what's wrong with my lip. Can anyone tells me if the ulcer is caused by the night guard?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Damaged to the mouth from hot or spicy foods, chewing tobacco or smoking can cause mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers may also result from specific medications, including chemotherapy. Underlying conditions that are common causes of mouth ulcers include deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals and hormonal changes.

once you finish eating, get your mouth clean, rinse with warm salt water

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 5:30PM
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I had a night guard fitted to my upper teeth a few months ago. It was pretty comfortable and after a couple of days I had adjusted to it so well that I preferred sleeping with it.
I agree with those who felt the wear and tear on the brace is really bad. Mine cracked after 2 months, and always seemed to be less clean than I wanted it to be.
My big concern is this: I hadn't had a cavity in 37 years. After 3 months of using the guard I have two cavities in my upper teeth. Coincidence? I've often noticed how my saliva isn't washing over my teeth when i wear the night guard. I've always heard that saliva has bacteria fighting properties. So does no(or reduced) saliva = greater bacteria count = greater chance of developing cavities? two new cavities in a few months doesn't sound like it's worth the money to me.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:38AM
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I saw an article in the newspaper that you don't even have to be grinding your teeth, just clinching will do the same damage. That is what I do. The dentist said he wore one every night as a safe guard.

My dentist said he would make me one for $200. or get one at Walmart. I could just buy the kind guards football player use. They are available at sport stores.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Would suggest trying soft plastic ones at Walmart or Walgreens first if you have ever had braces. Paid for expensive one from my dentist and it caused worse issues. Changed my bite so I could not close my teeth and started grinding where I only clinched before. Caused ear aches and also messed up bottom permanent retainer. Looked online and found other forums where people discuss open bite issues. Fortunately I did not wear it long. So my teeth went back together and my alignment was not permanently messed up. Try soft over counter ones first you boil to fit. Cheaper and less potential issues if you ever wore braces.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2015 at 7:37AM
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I have been a grinder for many years and unfortunately, I see no end in sight. Several years ago, my dentist remarked that I should really be wearing a night guard when I sleep to protect my teeth. $400 dollars later, I had a custom night guard that I was instructed to use every night.

What I did not count on was the fact that I was totally unable to keep it in my mouth while I slept. The very first time I used it, I woke up in the morning to find it at the end of the bed, having been chewed up by my Pekingese.. I couldn't really blame him for it, he was just doing what came naturally.

Then I purchased several of the boil and bite night guards that you find at cvs.. Same thing happened again. Even if my dog doesn't destroy them, I know that I will just rip it out of my mouth the second I fall asleep.. So, I'm stuck.

And for those who are curious, here is the culprit:)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2015 at 2:09PM
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