Night Guards Might Be Your Solution

Mouthguard Bedford MA

To some extent, many people chew or clench their jaw when they sleep. But for others, it can become more than just an annoyance. The persistent grinding of teeth, known as bruxism, can cause serious medical concerns if ignored. The shape and positioning of the teeth may change over time. The alignment of the jaw might even require surgical correction.

Today, your Bedford, MA, dentist writes on night guards, and whether or not they may be beneficial for your smile.

What Exactly Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for unconscious movement of the jaw, which leads to the teeth being in contact with each other. It isn’t solely grinding, clenching and gnashing fall under the condition as well. As well, there is sleeping and awake bruxism, depending on when the action occurs.

Both of these types lead to damage of the teeth or the misalignment of the jaw. Beyond tooth damage, bruxism can lead to life-affecting conditions such as persistent headaches. Patients with bruxism also report higher rates of other sleep disorders like snoring or sleep apnea (momentary ceasing of breath).

How Much Of A Problem Is Bruxism, Really?

For most people, bruxism is a mild condition, and doesn’t require a dental procedure. However, it is important to monitor your teeth, and any changes to your smile. Any cracking or flattening of the teeth means it’s time to visit your dentist.

Also, cheek-biting in sleep is common, but also constitutes bruxism! If you chew your cheeks raw in your sleep, help may be needed to correct this.

And if you’re suffering through pain, please do not wait. This issue rarely improves without assistance, so needlessly enduring pain is simply allowing the condition to further itself.

Could Night Guards Work For Me?

The most readily accessible night guards on the market are what are known as “boil and bite” guards. These guards are made of a thermoplastic material. 

You boil the mouthguard for a period of time, allowing it to soften. Then, you form an impression of the teeth by biting directly down on the material. These guards can be found at your local drugstore, and are highly affordable.

Your dentist might suggest a custom protector of the issue is of a more serious concern. With these, the dentist will make an impression of your mouth and send the mold to technicians at a laboratory. The lab formulates a guard out of a harder material. If you are familiar with daily retainers, these will seem similar.

You shouldn’t ignore any of these symptoms, no matter how mild they might seem. What might start off as an inconvenience can grow slowly. Our capacity to withstand pain is both a blessing and a curse!

A boil and bite guard may help you end this, and they are certainly worth a shot. If your symptoms aren’t fully alleviated, or if you see a shift on the way your teeth look or feel, please visit with your dentist. This is a very common condition and we can help!


Robert M. Kennedy, DDS, and the caring, compassionate staff at Kennedy Family & Cosmetic Dentistry have served the Bedford, MA area and surrounding communities since 1992. To learn more about the services we offer to protect, restore, and improve your family’s smiles, contact us today by calling (781) 275-0200, or by visiting our Bedford, MA dental office as soon as possible.