Teeth Grinding involves the grinding, gnashing, or clenching of teeth when one grinds, gnashes, or clenches their teeth, mainly due to long-term stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders. In medical jargon, it is known as bruxism and is classified as such when there is un curbed teeth grinding or jaw clenching. The condition is said to affect about 10-30% of all adults.
Most people are unaware of their teeth grinding as it usually occurs nocturnally. They are only made aware of their condition by relatives or during a visit to the dental office when the dentist notices damaged teeth due to grinding. Grinding can be broadly classified into two subgroups.
Occurs when one unconsciously grinds their teeth while being alert. This can happen when one is experiencing immense anger, frustration, and tension, tied to psychological issues as a coping mechanism to deal with these issues.
Occurs intermittently throughout the night, and there is no conscious control over it. Common signs and symptoms include worn, sensitive, and painful teeth, sore jaw muscles and neck, headaches, and trouble sleeping.
Even after years of extensive research, the etiology or cause of teeth grinding is still unclear; therefore, no definitive treatment exists. It is only managed by addressing the underlying aggravating factors like stress and anxiety through behavioral changes. Moreover, to avoid damage to teeth and other oral structures, dentists recommend wearing mouthguards before sleeping.
Teeth grinding, when left unchecked, can lead to a host of issues that eventually compromise the quality of life. Some of the main problems one might face due to excessive grinding are as follows.
- Damaged teeth and restorations
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Headaches and pain in the temples
- Stiff neck and jaw muscles
A mouthguard is an oral protective device covering teeth and gums to prevent wear and tear and injuries. Depending on its usage, it is known by different names, such as a mouth protector, mouthpiece, nightguard, occlusal splint, bite plane, and gum shield. They are used by children and adults alike and are regularly used in contact sports, such as boxing, football, gridiron, and hockey, to prevent trauma. When worn at night, they act to protect the teeth from the destructive forces of grinding.
This blog will be an in-depth scrutinization of the five best mouthguards available on the market that help deal with teeth grinding and its associated drawbacks.
Chomper Labs Night Guard
The Chomper Labs Night Guard is a Custom-Made Mouthguard made by Chomper Labs and is recommended for those who want a customized fit for their protective device. They provide four thicknesses to choose from, ranging from softer and thicker models meant for sleepers with light to moderate grinding to firmer and thinner models aimed at people with severe grinding/clenching.
The mouthguard is made in three steps, where the impression kit is delivered to the customer’s home as part of the first step. Once the impression is made, the mold is sent back to the lab, the second step, and the third step is the fabrication and arrival of the Night Guard at the customer/patient’s doorstep.
Smile Brilliant Night Guard
This is another Custom-Made Mouthguard made by the Smile Brilliant company and is recommended for individuals with severe teeth grinding and lasts for around three months to one year of use.
As stated in the paragraph above, the Smile Brilliant Night Guard also uses the three-step manufacturing technique, making it cost-effective. They have a variety of packages depending on personal requirements.
Comes with one mouthguard, lasting up to 3 months of heavy grinding.
Comes with two mouthguards, lasting up to 6 months of heavy grinding.
Comes with four mouthguards, which last up to 12 months of heavy grinding.
Sentinel 3mm Night Dental Guard
The Sentinel Night Dental Guard is unique in this aspect in that it does not contain BPA, silicone, latex, or phthalates, which are compounds that can cause allergic reactions in the oral cavity.
It has a 3mm thickness in each of its mouthguards, with proper fit and contact between the teeth, proving beneficial for individuals who suffer from severe grinding. Like the two products above, it is also made in a three-step manufacturing technique, as explained above.
The Sentinel company does warn that the nightguard is not to be used by patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment or have orthodontic braces, spacers, or other appliances. The Sentinel mouthguard can last up to 3 years if maintained well.
Pro Teeth Guard,
Another popular choice of mouthguard for teeth grinding is the Pro Teeth Guard. This is a custom-made mouthguard that has four different thicknesses and varieties for varying severities of grinding amongst individuals.
Ultra Thin Night Guard:
Suitable for light grinding with 1mm thickness.
Soft Night Guard:
Suitable for light grinding with 1.5mm thickness.
Hybrid Night Guard:
Suitable for heavy grinding with a 2mm thickness. They are made with a dual laminate that increases durability.
Hard Night Guard:
Suitable for severe grinding with 1.5mm thickness.
Like the mouthguards mentioned above, this mouthguard is also made through a three-step manufacturing process.
Sporting Smiles Teeth Grinding Night Guard – Flexible Super Hard
Lastly, the flexible super hard category of the Sporting Smiles Teeth Grinding Night Guard is the optimal option for individuals suffering from severe teeth grinding. This mouthguard is made with a clear BVA plastic that is free from BPA, providing adequate density without feeling too bulky or dense and with adequate flexibility.
This mouthguard, too, is made by a three-step manufacturing process and comes with a 3mm thickness.
Since there is no definitive cure for teeth grinding, it can only be managed through mouthguards and behavioral therapies to tackle the underlying psychological causes of night grinding. Prior to getting yourself a mouthguard, be sure to consult your dentist before doing so. They might recommend custom-made or over-the-counter mouthguards to fulfill your treatment needs.