Night Guards (Occlusal Guard)


Do you frequently wake up with a sore jaw, a dull headache or tooth pain? If so, schedule an appointment at our Denver area office and ask Dr. Bryant if you have a condition called bruxism, also known as teeth grinding.

Bruxism is fairly common and affects about 15% of adults. Teeth grinding can cause chronic headaches, jaw pain and accelerate the wear and tear of your teeth eventually affecting your bite and even your smile and eating abilities. Bruxism is also often associated with TMD (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder).

How Night Guards Can Help

Night guards for teeth are the treatment of choice to minimize the effects of teeth grinding. Here in our office, Dr. Bryant will first determine if you have bruxism based on a few questions, symptoms and an evaluation of your jaw and bite.

If Dr. Bryant determines you likely grind your teeth at night, we start the process of creating a custom-made night guard. First, an accurate 3D model of your mouth is made digitally. This digital image is then sent to a laboratory where your night guard will be made out of acrylic, a clear, hard plastic material that will protect your teeth while you sleep.

Once the mold is created, we have you return to our office for adjustment and refinement to make sure it fits perfectly and comfortably. Only a properly fitted night guard will prevent and lessen the symptoms associated with bruxism and TMD.

Usually, mouth guards go over your upper teeth only, but occasionally a mouth guard for your lower teeth may be needed instead. Dr. Bryant will be sure to suggest the best mouth guard for you and your situation.

Caring For Your Mouth Guard

Caring for your night guard

Our custom-made mouth guards are not only effective in treating bruxism but they are comfortable, durable, and easy to clean.

Caring for your mouth guard is important so that it lasts a long time and stays clean and free from germs. The following can help keep your mouth guard clean and effective for years:

  • Rinse the mouth guard with cold water before and after each use (a mouthwash or soap can also be added for additional clean)
  • Brush your mouth guard with a soft toothbrush
  • Store and transport your mouth guard in a firm, perforated container as directed by Dr. Bryant. This prevents contamination and damage.
  • Keep your mouth guard from hot temperatures — such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight so that its shape does not get distorted.
  • If you find cracks or tears in your mouth guard, let us know so it can be replaced.

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment with our team to review your needs, give us a call today. If you need a night guard in Denver, you can turn to the team at South Shore Dental!

Are there alternative treatments for Teeth Grinding?

  • Stress prevention: Utilize one or more at-home methods of relaxation, like meditation, to get you to relax and stop clenching your jaw.
  • Change of diet or medication: Avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine, can reduce teeth grinding. Certain medications, such as antidepressants, might also contribute to the issue. Please discuss with with your prescriber if an alternative is available.
    The most important thing to know about bruxism is that it can be treated with the help of a dentist.

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