Is Your Night Guard Causing You Pain? Can a Night Guard Shift Your Teeth?
Let’s first start by determining which type of dental night guard you’re using. Are you wearing a boil and bite or one size fits all dental guard that you purchased through a retailer like CVS, Walgreens or Amazon? This could be an issue. Though some do have success wearing these less expensive versions (versus custom made) many people feel discomfort and report being unsatisfied with their purchase. These mass produced night guards can even lead to greater problems like increased jaw pain and/or soreness. One of the reasons for this is because mouth arches and teeth sizes are so varied. It’s terribly difficult to create a “one size fits all” solution. Can a night guard shift your teeth? Perhaps the use of an ill-fitting hard night guard could shift your teeth if worn continuously or a more likely story is that your teeth naturally may shift over time.
The verdict is in and most agree that custom made night guards are ,hands down, the way to go if you must wear a nighttime dental device. It’s true, they are the best option available in terms of comfort, fit, & durability. If you’re wearing a store bought “one size fits all” dental guard and it’s hurting your teeth at night you should look into purchasing a custom made night guard. You can get a great quality custom night guard direct from the dental lab online for as low as $99.00 here.
You did the right thing. You got a custom made night guard and you still can’t sleep with it. Now what?
But what if you opted to go through a dentist and paid their prices (which range from $400-$1500) only to be disappointed or in downright pain after usage? If you find yourself thinking “my night guard hurts my teeth”, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. There may be a problem with your night guard. A reputable dentist will work with you to resolve your discomfort issue. You shouldn’t be wearing an ill-fitting night guard for one of several reasons listed in this article.
Your dentist may have prescribed a night guard because he noticed that you grind or clench your teeth. You may grind your teeth at night, or even catch yourself grinding your teeth during the day. You’ve taken his advice, and wear your night guard faithfully as prescribed.
But within a few days, or maybe over a period of months, you start to notice some changes in your mouth. You’re protecting your teeth against the wear and tear of grinding. But you’re concerned. You’ve noticed some changes in your mouth. So you go back to your dentist with the concern that “my night guard hurts my teeth.”
Why is my night guard causing me pain?
A couple of things to remember:
It may take several nights of consistent use before you adapt to sleeping comfortably with your new guard.
Some light tooth soreness during this time period can be normal.
Night guards should not cause continued pain. When they do, it is often because they are not fitting correctly. Pain may be your only clue that your night guard is not fitting properly.
If you continue to have pain after more than a week or so you should see your dentist as soon as possible or if you purchased from a direct night guard lab online you should contact them. A reputable dental night guard lab will work with you to get a great fitting (and pain free) dental night guard.
Is your night guard causing irritation on the tongue or gums?
It could have a little rough edge or spot & simply needs to be polished. If you’re handy with a Dremel tool, you may be able to lightly brush that spot with a polishing bur yourself and save a trip to the dentist. Otherwise, your dentist should be happy to fix that for you.
What are the symptoms of an ill-fitting night guard?
Pain is just one possible symptom of an ill-fitting night guard. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- an aching feeling in your jaw, or your jaw joint near your ear (called the TMJ)
- sore spots on your cheeks and tongue
- tenderness in one or more of your teeth.
- non-specific facial pain or aching
Why is my night guard not fitting my mouth?
- One common reason can be an inaccurate dental impression that was taken during your initial visit to the dentist or if you ordered online you may have distorted your dental impression. A clear cast of your teeth is essential in getting a well-fitting night guard.
- Improper fabrication of your night guard. Your dental device could be made by an inexperienced worker causing an extremely tight fit or possibly too loose.
Many changes can happen in our mouths without our noticing. These changes may affect the fit of your night guard
- A piece of food can lodge between your teeth or on the surface of a tooth. You may be able to remove these with a toothbrush or floss. But plaque can also build up. It may need to be removed by a hygienist. These obstructions can dislodge your night guard.
- A new filling, or even replacing an old filling, can cause night guards to stop fitting. If you only wear your night guard at night, you may forget to tell your dentist. He will need to adjust it to fit the new filling area. Even if the filling is on an “opposing tooth”, a tooth opposite the night guard, it can affect how the guard fits and functions in your mouth.
- Sometimes a chip out of a tooth changes the way it fits against the teeth around it. Even a small chip can be enough to change the way your night guard fits.
What further problems do ill-fitting night guards cause?
- Your teeth may get pushed out of their normal place.
- Your jaw can become misaligned. This can lead to TMJ (temporal mandibular joint) problems.
- Other areas of your mouth may become irritated such as the inside of your cheeks, the edges of your tongue, and your gums.
The important message is to take mouth pain and discomfort seriously. Sentinel Mouthguard Co. recognizes that all night guards are not created equal and that individual preference plays a huge role in finding a night guard that is comfortable. We provide continuous service even after your night guard is delivered to ensure that you are 100% happy with the fit and comfort of your new guard.