Understanding Bite Guards

Bite guards help reduce damage to your teeth from bruxism or tooth grinding. Since 10% of adults and 15% of children grind their teeth in their sleep, proper guard use can help preserve teeth and prevent other problems associated with grinding.

What Are Bite Guards?

This type of guard is a hard acrylic covering worn over the teeth at night to prevent them from grinding together. Although over-the-counter night guards are available, we don't recommend them because they may not fit as well as custom-made models.

A custom-made guard is created using an impression or scan of your teeth. Regardless of which technology captures a three-dimensional view of your teeth, the resulting guard should be an ideal fit for your teeth.

What Are Some Benefits of Wearing Bite Guards?

If you wear your guard every time you sleep and care for it according to our instructions, you can begin to experience relief from bruxism. Over time, your dentist will likely notice less of bruxism's telltale uneven wear on your teeth, and you could have fewer fractured teeth.

In addition to slowing the wear on your teeth’s biting surfaces, you can reduce or even avoid:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Tooth pain

How Are Bite Guards Different From Sports Guards?

Although many people use the term mouth guard to describe devices used for both nighttime tooth grinding and sports, the two are quite different. Sports guards are coverings worn to protect teeth during contact sports, such as football or soccer. They protect both the teeth and gums from injuries involving direct force to the mouth from the outside.

Sports guards are not engineered to protect the biting surfaces of the teeth. In fact, sports guards offer very little protection to the part of the teeth affected by nighttime tooth grinding.

Can I Use Two Sports Mouth Guards Instead of a Bite Guard?

No. Although a bite guard looks a bit like a mouth guard, these tooth protectors are not interchangeable. Mouth guards are fitted to protect only the upper teeth and gums from contact injuries, such as getting hit in the mouth by a ball or another player. In contrast, bite guards protect the biting surfaces of both upper and lower teeth. Therefore, wearing a mouth guard at night will further increase the wear on your lower teeth since it would expose them to a harder surface on which to grind.

Dr. Casler and our team of dental professionals take great pride in improving our patients' lives. If you live in the Broken Arrow area, please contact Casler Dental Group today to learn more or to schedule your consultation for a bite guard.