bite guard / night guard
Teeth-grinders, heed this: The earlier you catch the damage, the better your prognosis.
Want to know one excellent way to combat the bothersome habit of nighttime bruxism, or teeth grinding? Use of a night guard -- every time you sleep. If you think the trouble or expense of a dental night guard isn't worth it, or you aren't even entirely sure it's tooth-grinding behind what seem to be increasingly shorter teeth, headaches, jaw pain and a perturbed sleep partner, it's probably time to visit your dentist. Based on the amount of damage you may have already done and the symptoms you describe, your dentist can determine whether a night mouth guard is right for you.
Creating Your Dental Night Guard
Once your dentist determines that you're a good candidate for a night guard, he or she will create one that's custom-made for your mouth. A professionally made night guard for teeth is composed of soft material and slides over one row of your teeth. Once your dental night guard is in place, you can sleep soundly knowing that even if you do grind your teeth once you're asleep, your upper and lower teeth will no longer make contact.
Who Needs a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards should be used by anyone -- children and adults -- who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in noncontact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example, skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard.
Adults and children who grind their teeth at night should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint made to prevent tooth damage.