Teeth Care

Why Do My Front Teeth Hurt After Wearing a Night Guard?

front teeth pain from night guard

Purpose of a night guard and its benefits in preventing teeth grinding (bruxism) during sleep.

Night guards are essential dental devices designed to alleviate the effects of teeth grinding, clinically known as bruxism, particularly during sleep. There are various types of night guards available to cater to individual needs, including custom-fit, boil-and-bite, and over-the-counter options.

Custom-fit night guards, crafted by dental professionals, offer a tailored solution for optimal comfort and effectiveness. Boil-and-bite alternatives allow users to personalize the fit at home, while over-the-counter options provide convenience but may not offer the same precision.

Understanding the distinctions among these types is essential to choosing the night guard that best suits your requirements. A proper fitting night guard ensures a protective barrier between upper and lower teeth to prevent the discomfort associated with bruxism.

defend your teeth against the daily grind graphic

Why do my front teeth hurt when wearing a night guard?

Common Reasons for Front Teeth Discomfort

Front teeth discomfort after wearing a night guard can often be attributed to specific factors related to the device itself. One prevalent issue is a poorly fitted night guard, which may not align correctly with the teeth, leading to discomfort and irritation.

Choosing a night guard that fits properly and maintains the natural bite alignment is essential in preventing front teeth issues. In the next section, we will explore ways to identify and rectify these issues for a more comfortable experience with your night guard.

The material of the night guard can also be a common culprit of front teeth pain. In particular, hard night guard materials, which are non-flexible, may put excessive pressure on the teeth. Night guards are typically made from various materials, including hard acrylic or other rigid substances for durability. However, if the night guard material is too rigid or the night guard covers too much of the front teeth, it can lead to discomfort and pain in the front teeth.

When the night guard is too tight, it may not adapt well to the natural movements of the teeth and jaw during sleep, exacerbating the pressure on the front teeth. This lack of flexibility can result in an improper distribution of forces, causing localized discomfort. If you find that your front teeth hurt while wearing a night guard, especially if it is made from a hard material, it’s essential to consider the possibility of material-related pressure.

night guards that extend too high can cause pressure

Is it normal to experience front teeth sensitivity with a night guard?

It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience front teeth sensitivity when using a night guard, especially during the initial period of adaptation. Several factors may contribute to this sensitivity:

  1. Pressure Points: If the night guard is not well-fitted or if there are pressure points on the front teeth, it can lead to sensitivity. This may be a result of uneven distribution of forces on the teeth.
  2. Material too tight: Some individuals may experience tightness and pressure from wearing a guard that has been made with a rigid, non-flexible material or if the night guard extends too high on the teeth.
  3. Jaw Alignment: Changes in jaw alignment due to the night guard can initially cause sensitivity. The jaw may need time to adapt to the new positioning during sleep.
  4. Existing Dental Issues: Individuals with pre-existing dental conditions, such as cavities or gum recession, may be more prone to sensitivity when using a night guard.

If you are experiencing front teeth sensitivity with your night guard, consider the following steps:

  • Consult With Your Dentist or if Purchased Online, Consult With Online Night Guard Provider: If the sensitivity persists, consult with your custom night guard provider. They can assess the fit of the night guard, identify any issues, and make necessary adjustments.
  • Use a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Consider using a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes can help alleviate sensitivity over time.
  • Ensure Proper Cleaning: Maintain proper hygiene by regularly cleaning your night guard. Bacterial buildup can contribute to sensitivity, so follow the recommended cleaning instructions.
  • Gradual Adaptation: Give your mouth time to adapt to the night guard. It’s normal to experience some sensitivity during the initial period of use.

If sensitivity continues or becomes severe, it’s essential to seek professional advice. Your dentist can provide insights into the specific cause of the sensitivity and recommend appropriate solutions to enhance your comfort while using the night guard. Do not continue wearing your night guard if you’re experiencing continuous pain and discomfort.

How do I know if my night guard fits correctly?

Ensuring that your night guard fits correctly is crucial for preventing discomfort and maximizing its effectiveness. Here are some indicators to help you determine if your night guard fits properly:

  1. Comfortable Fit: A well-fitted night guard should feel comfortable in your mouth. It should not cause pain, pressure, or irritation on your teeth, gums, or jaw.
  2. Proper Alignment: The night guard should align seamlessly with your upper and lower teeth. There should be no noticeable gaps, and it should cover the teeth adequately.
  3. Secure Fit: The night guard should stay securely in place without slipping or moving during sleep. It should maintain its position throughout the night, providing consistent protection against teeth grinding.
  4. Natural Bite Alignment: The night guard should not alter your natural bite. Your upper and lower teeth should come together naturally when you bite down, without any unusual shifts or discomfort.
  5. Ease of Breathing and Speaking: A well-fitted night guard allows for normal breathing and clear speech. If you experience difficulty breathing or speaking while wearing the night guard, it may not be fitting correctly.
  6. No Signs of Wear or Damage: Inspect your night guard regularly for signs of wear, damage, or deformation. Cracks, chips, or changes in shape can indicate that the night guard needs replacement or adjustment.

Can a poorly fitted night guard cause front teeth pain?

Yes, a poorly fitted night guard can indeed cause front teeth pain. When a night guard doesn’t fit correctly, it can lead to various issues that contribute to discomfort in the front teeth. Here are some ways in which an ill-fitted night guard can cause pain:

  1. Uneven Pressure: A poorly fitted night guard may distribute pressure unevenly across the teeth. This imbalance can result in heightened pressure on the front teeth, leading to pain and discomfort.
  2. Misalignment: If the night guard is not properly aligned with your teeth, it can affect the natural bite. This misalignment can cause the front teeth to bear excess pressure, leading to pain and soreness.
  3. Rubbing or Irritation: Poorly fitted night guards may rub against the gums, tongue, or other oral tissues. This constant friction can cause irritation and pain, especially in the front teeth area.
  4. Jaw Discomfort: A misfit night guard can influence the position of the jaw during sleep. This alteration in jaw alignment may contribute to pain in the front teeth and the surrounding jaw area.

Adjustments and Solutions

example mouth guard adjustment form used by online custom mouth guard company
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What adjustments can be made if my night guard is causing discomfort?

If your night guard is causing discomfort, adjustments can be made to improve its fit and alleviate any issues. Here’s a general guide on making adjustments:

Adjusting Your Night Guard:

  1. Identify Discomfort Areas:
    • Use a tooth chart provided by the online night guard provider to mark specific areas where you experience discomfort. Note any pressure points, rubbing, or misalignment.
  2. Follow Provider’s Instructions:
    • Online night guard providers often have guidelines on their websites for making adjustments. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper handling of the night guard.
  3. Email for Adjustments:
    • Contact the online provider via email to request adjustments. Explain the discomfort you’re experiencing and attach the marked tooth chart. Providers like Sentinel Mouthguards offer email support for adjustment requests.
  4. Printable Return Label:
    • If adjustments are needed, the online provider may email you a printable return label. This label allows you to send the night guard back for modifications without additional cost.
  5. Return the Night Guard:
    • Ship the night guard back to the online provider using the provided return label. Include any specific instructions or details regarding the required adjustments.
  6. Adjustments by the Provider:
    • Once received, the online provider will assess the night guard based on your feedback and tooth chart. They will then make the necessary adjustments to loosen the fit and address the identified discomfort areas.
  7. Receiving the Adjusted Night Guard:
    • The adjusted night guard will be sent back to you, ensuring a better fit and improved comfort. Online providers strive to accommodate customer needs and ensure satisfaction with their products.

If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort in your front teeth after wearing a night guard, there are practical adjustments and solutions to consider. One effective approach is seeking professional help for a customized adjustment by your dentist.

Dentists can fine-tune the fit of your night guard to ensure it aligns perfectly with your teeth, eliminating any sources of discomfort. Additionally, allow for a gradual adaptation period, especially if you’re new to wearing a night guard. The mouth needs time to adjust to this preventive measure for teeth grinding.

By following these steps, you can enhance the comfort of your night guard experience and better protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. In the following section, we’ll delve into essential maintenance and care practices to further optimize your night guard usage.

How long does it take to get used to wearing a night guard?

The time it takes to get used to wearing a night guard can vary from person to person. Generally, it may take a few days to a few weeks for individuals to fully adapt to wearing a night guard during sleep. Here are some factors that can influence the adjustment period:

  1. Consistency: The more consistently you wear the night guard, the faster your mouth is likely to adjust. Make a conscious effort to wear it every night as recommended by your dentist.
  2. Material and Type of Night Guard: Different types of night guards may have varying materials and thicknesses. Custom-fit night guards may provide a quicker adjustment due to their precision and comfort.
  3. Individual Sensitivity: Some individuals are more sensitive to foreign objects in their mouths. If you’re particularly sensitive, it might take a bit longer to get used to the sensation of wearing a night guard.
  4. Proactive Adaptation: Gradual adaptation strategies, such as wearing the night guard for short periods during the day before transitioning to overnight use, can help your mouth adjust more comfortably.
  5. Communication with Night Guard Provider: If you experience persistent discomfort beyond the initial adjustment period, it’s essential to communicate with your dental night guard provider. They can assess the fit of the night guard and make any necessary adjustments.

During the initial days of wearing a night guard, it’s normal to experience minor discomfort or an unusual sensation. However, as your mouth becomes accustomed to the night guard, these sensations should diminish. If discomfort persists or if you have concerns about the fit, it’s crucial to consult with your dental night guard provider for guidance and potential adjustments to ensure optimal comfort and effectiveness.

Can a night guard cause more harm than good?

While night guards are generally beneficial for preventing the negative effects of teeth grinding (bruxism), there are situations where improper use or poor fit can potentially cause more harm than good. Here are some considerations:

  1. Poorly Fitted Night Guard:
    • If a night guard is not properly fitted, it can lead to discomfort, jaw misalignment, and, in some cases, exacerbate existing dental issues. A poorly fitted night guard may create pressure points, causing pain and soreness.
  2. Incorrect Material:
    • Some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to certain materials used in night guards. Choosing the wrong material can lead to irritation, allergic reactions, or discomfort.
  3. Changes in Bite Alignment:
    • An ill-fitted night guard or one that alters the natural bite alignment may cause problems. Prolonged use without proper adjustment can contribute to bite issues and jaw pain.
  4. Neglecting Underlying Dental Issues:
    • Using a night guard to address teeth grinding is a preventive measure, but it may not address underlying dental problems. If pain persists, it’s crucial to rule out other dental issues that may require specific treatment.
  5. Overreliance on Self-Treatment:
    • Individuals may self-diagnose and use over-the-counter night guards without professional guidance. This may mask underlying dental issues that a dentist could identify and address.

In most cases, when used correctly and under professional guidance, night guards are effective in preventing teeth grinding and associated problems. If you experience persistent discomfort or issues, consult with your night guard provider for proper evaluation and adjustments.

Are over-the-counter night guards effective, or should I get a custom-fit one from either an online provider or a dentist?

The effectiveness of night guards, whether over-the-counter (OTC) or custom-fit from an online provider or a dentist, depends on individual factors and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of each option:

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Night Guards:


  1. Affordability: OTC night guards are generally more budget-friendly compared to custom-fit options.
  2. Accessibility: Conveniently available at pharmacies and online, offering immediate access.
  3. No Waiting Time: Can be used right away without the need for appointments or customization.


  1. Generic Fit: OTC guards are one-size-fits-all, which may not provide an optimal fit for everyone, potentially leading to discomfort.
  2. Limited Customization: Lacks the precision and customization that custom-fit guards offer.
  3. Durability: OTC options may be less durable over time compared to custom-fit guards.

Custom-Fit Night Guards from an Online Provider:


  1. Personalized Fit: Designed based on an individual’s dental impressions for a precise and comfortable fit.
  2. Affordability: Online providers often offer custom-fit options at a more accessible price point than traditional dental offices.
  3. Convenience: Kits for creating impressions at home are mailed, and the finished guard is shipped to the customer.


  1. Limited Professional Supervision: While more affordable than in-person dental visits, customers are responsible for following instructions to take an accurate impression of their teeth.

Custom-Fit Night Guards from a Dentist:


  1. Professional Assessment: Dentists can assess specific dental conditions, ensuring the night guard addresses individual needs.
  2. Precision Fit: Custom-fit by a dentist offers the highest level of precision and comfort.
  3. Long-Term Relationship: Establishing an ongoing relationship with a dentist allows for regular check-ups and adjustments.


  1. Cost: Custom-fit night guards from dentists are typically more expensive than OTC or online options.
  2. Time-Consuming: Requires appointments, impressions, and additional time for crafting the custom guard.


  1. Severity of Bruxism: Individuals with ongoing bruxism may benefit more from a custom-fit night guard for enhanced protection.
  2. Budget: Consider your budget and how much you’re willing to invest in a night guard.
  3. Comfort: Custom-fit options, whether from an online provider or a dentist, generally offer a more comfortable fit.
  4. Professional Guidance: Dentists provide professional supervision, ensuring the night guard is tailored to specific dental conditions.

In summary, the choice between OTC, online custom-fit, or dentist-provided custom-fit night guards depends on your individual needs, budget, and preferences. If possible, consulting with a dentist can help determine the most suitable option for your unique situation.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining and caring for your night guard is crucial to ensure optimal comfort and effectiveness. Regular cleaning is paramount to prevent bacterial buildup on the device, which can contribute to discomfort and potential oral health issues.

A simple routine of gentle cleaning using a toothbrush and mild soap or toothpaste can help keep your night guard in top condition. Additionally, adhere to the recommended replacement schedule for your night guard. Over time, wear and tear can affect its efficacy and contribute to discomfort.

By following proper maintenance practices, including routine cleaning and timely replacements, you can extend the life of your night guard and promote a more comfortable experience.


In conclusion, understanding and addressing front teeth discomfort after wearing a night guard is essential for maintaining both oral health and overall well-being. We’ve explored the different types of night guards and how they function to prevent teeth grinding, delving into common reasons for discomfort and practical solutions.

Whether it’s ensuring a proper fit, seeking professional adjustments, or adopting effective maintenance practices, taking proactive steps can significantly enhance the comfort of night guard usage. Remember, a gradual adaptation period is normal, and persistent discomfort warrants professional consultation with your custom night guard provider. If you’ve purchased an OTC night guard, discontinue use and consider switching to a custom made night guard. .

Your journey to protecting your teeth from the effects of bruxism begins with understanding, care, and professional guidance. We hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you would like to learn more about Sentinel Mouthguards products and services, visit our help center today!


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 http://sentinelmouthguards.com

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