Can you sleep with a mouth guard?
Comfortable Night Guards and Where to Find Them
How long does it take to get used to wearing one?
Is there such a thing as a comfortable night guard?
These are the two questions that ran through Mary’s mind as she sat with her dentist. “You need a night guard, Mary. Plain and simple. Those teeth of yours are going to look like broken eggshells if you keep grinding them together” he said.
The thought of wearing a plastic teeth guard to bed every night really bothered her. Never one to just fall asleep into blissful oblivion, she couldn’t imagine ever getting used to sleeping with a foreign object in her mouth night after night. Skeptical Mary politely thanked the doctor, went home and took to the internet to explore her options. She thought to herself “can you sleep with a mouth guard?”
Night grinding or bruxism is a condition that is characterized by involuntary grinding of teeth when the individual is asleep at night.
Night grinding manifests in varying degrees across patients, and may cause a number of problems to the person involved. In fact, with the constant grinding at night, teeth structure is likely to suffer since vital tissues of the teeth are exposed as a result of the clenching. Again, the patient’s teeth may become uneven.
Depending on the severity of the problem, the condition may be serious, prompting the individual to resolve the issue as fast as possible. Thankfully, the effects of night grinding can be controlled with a night guard.
A night guard is a simple dental appliance that is worn in the mouth so the patient can protect their teeth from the effects of teeth grinding. These effects tend to be irreversible. This means that the moment the damage has occurred, it is impossible for the teeth to regenerate, thus restorative work is needed to fix the problem. This can be costly.
Therefore, it makes sense for the patient to manage their condition using a night guard. And just like most other products on the market, there are many options.
- Is a night guard uncomfortable to wear?
- What are the factors that increase chances of a night guard being uncomfortable?
- What are some of the characteristics of a comfortable night guard device?
- What are the most comfortable types of night guards?
So. Where art thou comfortable night guards?
It depends on the type of night guard a patient chooses.
If one chooses to go with a store bought night guard, comfort is usually sacrificed, since store bought options are made in mass volume and created for the general public. On the other hand, if one chooses to buy a customized one, the device will conform to the natural contours of their dental anatomy, thus it will be more comfortable for them to wear.
Factors that increase the chances of a night guard being comfortable
Conformity to the mouth, the night guard material and the material thickness will play the main roles in determining comfort level. You can opt for a soft or dual laminate material which feels cozy in the mouth. Soft night guards tend to be very comfortable for those suffering from minor cases of bruxism. Dual laminate devices with a soft interior and hard exterior tend to be more durable and comfortable to the person wearing them. A hard custom night guard can be very nice as well, but make sure your dental impression is highly accurate. There is no room for error when wearing a hard night guard. If your hard night guard was made from a distorted dental impression, you will feel it! Thinner is more comfortable, but the thinner you go, the more you sacrifice durability and longevity.
A 2mm thickness tends to be the most popular choice.
Characteristics of a comfortable night guard
It has to be constructed with a special kind of plastic which is in perfect sync with the dental tissues & tooth structure in the mouth. Again, the device has to be a snug fit (not too tight, but not falling out of the mouth) to achieve maximum comfort, a.k.a custom made.
The different types of night guards and comfort levels
On a larger scale, there are three types of night guards a patient can buy. These include the standard types which can be purchased as ready-made, the boil and bite type which are partially customized, and lastly — a custom-made device done by a professional dentist or a specialized night guard lab such as ours.
The first option tends to be uncomfortable since it’s standard. The second option is not so comfortable since it’s slightly modified. Lastly, the fully-customized option is the most comfortable.
If a patient can afford it, it’s best that they opt for the fully-customized option, since it’s what conforms to their dental impression. Luckily, dental night guards have become more affordable thanks to the internet and online services that allow you to take your own dental impression using a mail order system. Thickness is a primary factor in night guard comfort. The thinner the guard the more comfortable it is (but may be less durable). Fabrication method is also a factor. A knowledgeable, trained lab technician will be sure to make the night guard as comfortable as possible.