Night guards are teeth guards worn to protect against ill effects of bruxism (teeth grinding). Bruxism causes loss of enamel on crowns of the rear teeth, which can lead to tooth sensitivity, cavities and even toothache.
Night guards stop effects of bruxism
It is best to treat the underlying cause of bruxism which is, in most cases, mental stress or weak nerves. Certain medicines may also cause it. However, while the treatment goes on, further effects of bruxism can be prevented by the use of night guards.
What are night guards?
In simple words night guards are transparent plastic shells which are worn over your teeth at night. They prevent direct contact between opposite teeth and hence, prevent wear of enamel. Night guards are available at most pharmacies without a prescription. You have to boil it in water to soften it. When it is cool enough, you bite into it to shape it around your teeth. That is your DIY night guard.
However, this type of night guard is not a professional device. It may not fit very well. A better option is to obtain a custom-made night guard from your dentist. The dentist will take an impression of your mouth and send it to a specialized lab for manufacture of the night guard for you. A high quality night guard will be made to exactly fit your teeth. The night guard will prevent further ill effects of bruxism.