Creating the right mouth guard to stop teeth grinding should be done in consultation with your dentist, but to know what kind you need, it’s important to understand how they work. Two types of night guards can protect your teeth from grinding: an upper or lower teeth night guard.
An upper night guard goes on top of your upper teeth, protecting them from damage when you sleep and grinding them at night. Lower teeth grinding mouth guard, on the other hand, goes underneath the bottom row of your teeth and protects them during the same action of grinding at night.
- 1 What is a teeth grinding mouth guard?
- 2 Upper Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard
- 3 Lower Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard
- 4 Do You Need an Upper or Lower Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard?
- 5 What are your options when you visit your dentist?
- 6 What about grinding and clenching my teeth in my sleep?
- 7 Simply put
What is a teeth grinding mouth guard?
A teeth grinding mouth guard is a device that prevents teeth from coming into contact with each other when the person grinds their teeth. Grinding teeth is a common occurrence during sleep, and it can lead to serious tooth damage if left untreated. A grinding mouth guard comes in two varieties: upper and lower. The guard you need depends on which teeth you grind your teeth against.
A lower night guard will protect your lower front teeth from excessive wear and tear, while an upper night guard will protect your upper back molars from excessive wear and tear. Teeth Night Guard Lab team members understand this decision’s importance and are always happy to help patients find the best teeth grinding mouth guard.
Upper Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard
If you grind your teeth while sleeping, the upper and lower teeth grinding can lead to serious problems. The teeth’s upper and lower chewing surfaces are designed with a specific pattern of ridges that act as tiny cutting tools to break down food. The grinding motion on these tooth surfaces will eventually cause them to wear away and lose their shape, making it difficult to chew food properly and can lead to other dental problems like gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss.
An upper teeth grinding mouth guard is typically worn over the top set of teeth while sleeping. Some people also use a lower teeth grinding mouth guard for their bottom row of teeth, but most dentists do not recommend this because it does not provide as much protection for the top row of back molars.
Lower Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard
A lower teeth grinding mouth guard is often used to protect your teeth from the force of your bite. This mouth guard sits under your upper and lower teeth, in front of the inside of your cheeks. It’s designed to support the lower jaw, preventing it from moving too far down and back during sleep. The design can also keep you from snoring by keeping your airways open.
A custom-made upper and lower appliance may be best for you if you grind your teeth in a pattern that includes upper and lower tooth surfaces. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, over-the-counter options are available that can still be useful in protecting both the upper and lower teeth surfaces.
Do You Need an Upper or Lower Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard?
When it comes to your teeth, there are two important items to consider when picking out a mouth guard: the pain’s location and teeth grinding. If you’re experiencing pain in your lower jaw, you will want a lower custom teeth night guard, while if you experience pain in your upper jaw, you’ll need an upper custom teeth night guard. It’s also important to note that different mouth guards can be used for different problems. For example, a dental appliance might be best for you if you have trouble with clenching or grinding your teeth at night. Many more factors are involved in choosing the right type of mouth guard, but these are the most important ones.
What are your options when you visit your dentist?
To decide if you need a upper teeth grinding mouth guard, your dentist will do a dental exam to determine if your grinding is due to clenching of the molars (upper teeth) or grinding of the premolars (lower teeth).
If it is determined that you are only clenching, then you would wear a lower custom teeth night guard. However, if it is established that you are grinding both sets of teeth, then your dentist may recommend an upper custom teeth night guard. The process for getting either type can vary depending on the severity and sensitivity of your condition.
What about grinding and clenching my teeth in my sleep?
It sounds like you’re experiencing bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching). Grinding teeth can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, headaches, earaches, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. To help stop the problem, try these tips:
- Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods before bedtime.
- Reduce stress in your life, and sleep on your back with a mouth guard covering both upper and lower teeth.
- If you clench your jaw at night, use a mouth guard to cover the top and bottom teeth.
- Use a soft chew toy during the day to prevent the habit from happening at night.
Can I still wear my retainer while wearing a grinding mouth guard? The best way to protect your teeth is to wear a retainer and grinding mouth guard. A retainer will provide the most protection, so you’ll want to wear it even when using the grinding mouth guard. The upper teeth grinders have ridges that will fit over your top teeth, while the lower teeth grinders have ridges that will fit over your bottom teeth.
Many people are unsure which type of mouthguard they need for teeth grinding, but there is a simple way to find out. First, find your tooth’s biting surface. For most people, this will be on the bottom row of teeth. Next to the top tooth in that row is a little round bump called the cuspid (or cusp).
Put your fingers on either side of it and push down. If you feel your upper teeth scraping against the back of your lower teeth, you need an upper custom teeth night guard. If you feel your lower teeth scraping against the front of your upper jaw, you need a lower custom teeth night guard.