Over the counter night guards AKA “boil and bite” guards are an acceptable treatment option for some bruxers (people who grind their teeth), but they are not for everyone. For patients who grind their teeth but do not have any jaw pain or muscle tension, an over-the-counter guard may be sufficient to protect their teeth at night. The night guard provides a barrier between your upper and lower teeth so that you are grinding on the guard instead of grinding down your tooth enamel. For those who have joint problems or muscle pain and tension, over-the-counter guards might exacerbate these issues.
A custom-fitted, lab-fabricated night guard is a better option for patients with joint or muscle pain. They are BPA-free and are fabricated using a model of your teeth, making them more comfortable and less bulky. They are customizable and adjustable to relieve jaw muscle pain and tension headaches.
Snore guards are another treatment option and are beneficial for patients who snore or have mild sleep apnea. They work by opening up the airway and improving breathing, while also reducing grinding and protecting the teeth.