Night Guards

Is There a Night Guard for Bottom Teeth?

dental night guard for lower teeth

Lower Teeth Dental Night Guard Uses, Function & Effectiveness

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Lara Coseo, (DDS, FAGD)

Article updated and reviewed for accuracy on 06/13/23

Is there a mouth guard for bottom teeth?

Yes, there are mouth guards specifically designed for the bottom teeth. They are known as lower or bottom teeth mouth guards. While many traditional mouth guards cover the upper teeth only, some individuals may find it more comfortable or necessary to have a mouth guard that only covers their lower teeth.

Lower teeth mouth guards are commonly used for teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), and for certain dental treatments or conditions. These mouth guards provide protection and cushioning for the lower teeth, minimizing the risk of dental injuries, jaw problems, and tooth damage.

Lower teeth mouth guards can be custom-made by a dentist or orthodontist to ensure a proper fit and optimal protection. Alternatively, there are also over-the-counter (OTC) options available that are designed specifically for the lower teeth. These OTC mouth guards are typically made from a moldable material that can be shaped to fit the lower teeth.

defend your teeth against the daily grind graphic

What is a lower teeth night guard and why is it used?

A lower teeth night guard, also known as a mandibular night guard or a lower jaw night guard, is a dental device designed to be worn during sleep to protect the lower teeth from the effects of teeth grinding or clenching, a condition called bruxism.

Bruxism often occurs unconsciously during sleep and can lead to various dental problems such as tooth wear, enamel erosion, jaw pain, headaches, and damage to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). A lower teeth night guard acts as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, absorbing the forces generated by grinding or clenching and preventing direct tooth-to-tooth contact.

The main purpose of a lower teeth night guard is to provide cushioning and create a separation between the upper and lower teeth, reducing the damaging effects of bruxism. By wearing a night guard, the forces exerted during grinding or clenching are distributed more evenly, protecting the teeth from excessive wear and minimizing the strain on the jaw joints.

Lower teeth night guards are typically custom-made by a dentist or orthodontist to ensure a precise fit. They are often made from durable and flexible materials that are comfortable to wear during sleep. The night guard is designed to fit over the lower teeth and may have a smooth or textured surface to provide a comfortable biting surface and improve its effectiveness.

Using a lower teeth night guard can help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, protect the teeth from damage, reduce jaw pain, and promote better sleep quality. It is recommended to consult with a dental professional to determine if a lower teeth night guard is suitable for your specific case and to ensure a proper fit for optimal effectiveness.

Can I wear a lower teeth night guard if I have an overbite/underbite?

Yes, it is generally acceptable to wear a lower teeth night guard even if you have an overbite or underbite. Lower teeth night guards are designed to fit over the lower teeth and do not directly depend on the alignment of the upper teeth.

While an overbite or underbite may affect the way the upper and lower teeth come together, a lower teeth night guard can still provide protection and cushioning for the lower teeth. The night guard acts as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, regardless of the specific alignment or relationship between them.

However, it’s important to note that the fit and comfort of the night guard may be influenced by the presence of an overbite or underbite. This is why a custom made lower night guard would be best as it is made from a dental impression from your unique anatomy. The fit is much superior to the boil and bite night guard types.

In some cases, individuals with significant dental misalignment may require additional adjustments or modifications to ensure a proper fit of the night guard. A dental professional, such as a dentist or orthodontist, can evaluate your specific situation and provide guidance on the best approach for wearing a lower teeth night guard with an overbite or underbite.

Additionally, if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment to correct your bite, it’s important to discuss with your orthodontist whether wearing a night guard is appropriate and if any adjustments or accommodations need to be made during the treatment process.

Can I wear a lower teeth night guard if I have dental implants or missing teeth?

Yes, you can generally wear a lower teeth night guard if you have dental implants or missing teeth. Lower teeth night guards are designed to fit over the lower teeth, and they can still provide protection and cushioning in the presence of dental implants or gaps from missing teeth.

Custom-made night guards are typically recommended to ensure the best fit and protection. Your dental professional can create a night guard tailored to your unique needs, taking into account the presence of dental implants or missing teeth, for optimal comfort and effectiveness.

How long should I wear a lower teeth night guard?

The duration for wearing a lower teeth night guard can vary depending on the specific circumstances and recommendations from your dental professional. In general, the usage of a lower teeth night guard is typically recommended during sleep, as that is when teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) commonly occurs

Are there any side effects of wearing a lower teeth night guard?

While wearing a lower teeth night guard is generally safe and well-tolerated, there are a few potential side effects that some individuals may experience. These side effects can include:

  1. Discomfort or soreness: Initially, you may experience some discomfort or soreness in your jaw, teeth, or gums as your mouth adjusts to the presence of the night guard. This discomfort usually subsides within a few days as your oral tissues adapt to the appliance.
  2. Increased saliva production: Wearing a night guard can sometimes trigger an increase in saliva production, causing temporary excessive salivation. This usually diminishes as your mouth adjusts to the night guard.
  3. Changes in bite or tooth alignment: In rare cases, prolonged or improper use of a night guard can potentially cause changes in your bite or tooth alignment over time. This is more likely to occur with ill-fitting or poorly adjusted night guards. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor any changes and ensure proper fit and alignment.
  4. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort: While a night guard can help alleviate TMJ discomfort caused by teeth grinding or clenching, in some cases, it may aggravate existing TMJ symptoms or cause new ones. If you experience increased jaw pain or TMJ symptoms after wearing a night guard, it is advisable to consult with a dental professional.

It’s important to remember that these side effects are relatively rare, and most individuals tolerate wearing a lower teeth night guard without any significant issues. To minimize the risk of side effects, it is crucial to have a properly fitted night guard and to follow the instructions provided by your dental professional regarding its use and care.

If you experience persistent discomfort, pain, or any concerns while wearing a night guard, it is recommended to consult with a dental professional for evaluation and guidance. They can assess your specific situation and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your comfort and oral health.

How do I clean and care for a lower teeth night guard?

Proper cleaning and care of your lower teeth night guard are essential to maintain its hygiene, longevity, and effectiveness. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Rinse after use: After removing the night guard in the morning, rinse it with cool or lukewarm water to remove any saliva or debris. Avoid using hot water, as it can distort the shape of the night guard.
  2. Brush with a soft toothbrush: Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to gently brush the night guard. This helps remove any plaque or residue that may have accumulated. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the night guard’s material.
  3. Avoid harsh chemicals: Do not use bleach, alcohol, or abrasive cleaners on your night guard, as they can degrade or damage the material.
  4. Soak in a denture cleaner or mild solution: Periodically, you can soak the night guard in a denture cleaner specifically designed for oral appliances. Follow the instructions provided with the cleaner. Alternatively, you can use a mild solution of water and mild liquid soap or a designated night guard cleaning solution. Avoid using mouthwash or other substances not recommended by your dental professional.
  5. Keep it dry: After cleaning, ensure the night guard is completely dry before storing it. Moisture can promote bacterial growth or lead to an unpleasant odor. You can gently pat it dry with a clean towel or let it air dry.
  6. Store properly: Store your night guard in a ventilated container specifically designed for oral appliances. These containers allow airflow to prevent the growth of bacteria and keep the night guard protected from damage.
  7. Avoid extreme temperatures: Do not expose your night guard to extreme heat or direct sunlight, as it can warp or deform the material.
  8. Regular dental check-ups: Schedule regular dental visits to have your night guard evaluated for wear and tear, and to ensure it still fits properly and offers adequate protection.

Remember to follow any additional care instructions provided by your dental professional. By following these cleaning and care practices, you can help maintain the cleanliness, durability, and effectiveness of your lower teeth night guard.

Is a Night Guard for Lower Teeth Better Than Upper Night Guards?

Your dentist may prescribe a night guard in order to prevent further teeth damage. Many dentists will naturally be inclined to make you a night guard to be worn for your upper teeth. They may have a good reason why – but sometimes it’s more out of habit as night guards are most commonly made for upper teeth. Patients may not know they have an option to have a lower night guard made. Some people find the lower teeth guard to be far more comfortable and tolerable.

How does a night guard work?

Either choice works by acting as a type of cushion or barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Instead of grinding directly against one another, the night guard ensures the teeth do not make contact with each another, preventing further damage.

How do i know if a bottom guard is right for me?

Ask your dentist if a lower night guard may be an option for you. Your dentist will know which type is best suited for your unique needs.It may be that you will be happier with a mouth guard for the bottom teeth.

sentinel mouthguards lab worker holding lower teeth mouth guard

Which one works best? An upper night guard or a night guard for lower teeth?

Benefits Of Wearing a Night Guard For Lower Teeth

  • Reduced Gagging Reflex
    Sensitive gag reflex: Some upper night guard users take out their night guard because they find themselves feeling the need to gag which makes it hard to sleep. In these cases, a mouth guard for bottom teeth may reduce the susceptibility to invoking the gag reflex.
  • Better Tolerance
  • A lot of users have reported that wearing a lower night guard is more comfortable for them. Dentists agree that a lower guard can be better tolerated and increases the ease of wear for some of their patients.
  • Better for the tongue Sometimes the tongue gets in the habit of feeling the upper night guard constantly, which leads to irritation, but a lower guard can make the tongue adapt better.

The Differences Between An Upper And Lower Night Guard

Almost all night guards are made from materials such as vinyl, acrylic, rubber or acetate. You should check and make sure that the dental appliance you’re getting is latex, silicone and BPA-free. A good night guard is one that fits perfectly and doesn’t slip. It’s better to have a night guard made in a professional lab as opposed to buying one in a store.

Can I wear an upper and a lower night guard at the same time?

Night guards for the upper and lower teeth can be made to address the grinding problem, but wearing both an upper and lower night guard at the same time is typically not recommended.
In common bruxism cases, either night guard (upper or lower) will work the same way and therefore provide identical results.

Upper night guard popularity

The reason why upper night guards are a popular option is because night guards were originally created for the upper teeth. Some dentists and labs tend to be slow to adapt to the usage and acceptance of lower night guards (also called bottom mouth guards) across the industry by habit. Today, many dentists are recommending the use of lower night guards for the benefits they provide to the wearer.

Overall, the design of your night guard will depend on several personal factors, such as your bite, comfort level and your dentist’s preference, among others. Traditionally, upper guards may be recommended due to the fact that they can’t be as easily removed compared to lower arches.

Why wear a lower teeth night guard?

Lower guards are recommended because they are sometimes more comfortable and patients with a gag reflex may adapt to wearing them more easily. More importantly, the night guard should fit your teeth arches just right – shielding your teeth and jaw from the harmful effects of unconscious teeth grinding at night. The best kind of night guard should cover all your teeth and not effect your natural bite.
The success of a bottom or top mouth guard first depends on your ability to wear it.

At Sentinel Mouthguards®, we realize that what works for you may not work for another individual. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee includes changing material type, thickness and/or switching teeth arches to find which guard works best for you. You read that right! If you purchase your Sentinel Night Guard and find that it is not working for you, we will work with you to explore which night guard may be best suited for your unique needs. That’s the Sentinel guarantee!


sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store

Verified By

medically reviewed by dr lara coseo
Dr. Lara Coseo

Baylor College of Dentistry

Dr. Lara Coseo, (DDS, FAGD) is a 2004 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

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