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A 36-year-old member asked:

is wearing a mouth guard at night a bad alternative to the "night guard"?

6 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Capista
Specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry
It can be: A night guard is generally made of a hard materal so when gringing your teeth slide easily over the acrylic. Mouth guards are made of soft materal and when you grind on it while sleeping it may create strain or pressure on the jaw muscles and cause pain. It may be ok for a short tem fix but not as a perminant solution.
Dr. Ronald Cohen
Dentistry 35 years experience
Well...: It's not a good alternative to wearing a night guard. A night guard will be much smaller and more comfortable, as it will be molded to your teeth much better. It may provide a similar benefit but be careful not to gag or choke on the mouth guard as it is not meant to be worn while sleeping.
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Not really: You may try another alternative : grindcare it is an external biofeedback device I have been using with great success. No bulky appliances in your mouth!
Dr. George Ayoub
Cosmetic Dentistry 18 years experience
Not if you are: Both night guard and moth guard separate the teeth if both are custom fit and you are comfortable , you can wear either.
Dr. Brian Langenfeld
Dentistry 40 years experience
There is a growing movement in dentistry that believes that grinding is directly related to air way issues, an alternative may be a sleep apnea appliance. Custom nigh guards that are adjusted by a dentist offer the best protection to the effects of grinding are much more jaw joint friendly than over the counter boil and bite mouth guards.
Sep 18, 2013
Dr. Jerry Hu
Dr. Jerry Hu answered
Cosmetic Dentistry 23 years experience
Custom guard: Custom guards are the best, especially if they are designed to help with airway issues, bruxism/ clench/ grind issues, tmj/tmd issues, or muscle pain issues in head/neck. For mouth guards and sports guards, they are best used to protect teeth during sports.
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dentistry 45 years experience
Not really but...: There are many types of mouthguards for grinding and clenching. Over the counter ones actually may be too thick and throw the muscles into more spasms. Dentists can make custom made, well fitting mouthguards, either upper or lower (i like the lower ones.) the guards can be made of soft plastic or hard acrylic...Depends on severity of grinding. For daytime clenching, other types are indicated.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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