Why Would I Need a Nightguard?

Dr. Pinson may notice that you grind your teeth based on the wear and tear of chewing surfaces, or that misalignment exists to the point that areas are disproportionately worn. You may not even realize you grind your teeth because the most damage often occurs during sleep. The technical term is “sleep-related bruxism.” If you wake up in the morning with jaw pain or headaches, a nightguard may help more than a dose of ibuprofen. 


Do Dentists Create Nightguards?

You can buy nightguards over the counter at drug stores, but they will fit better and potentially last longer if you get a custom nightguard through a dentist. To create your custom nightguard, Dr. Pinson or a dental hygienist will take an impression of your teeth and send the impression to a lab. During your return visit, we’ll make sure the nightguard fits properly and buff away any edges that may irritate your gums or mouth. 

You can bring your nightguard with you to your regular checkups, and we’ll provide a deep clean and inspection of it to check for cracks or out-of-the-ordinary wear and tear. Nightguards typically last for a few years, but we will know when to recommend replacement based on its condition. If the alignment of your teeth changes or your teeth move, you will need to be refitted for a new nightguard.


What’s the Difference Between a Mouthguard and a Nightguard?

Mouthguards, worn during athletic events, are created to protect our teeth from injuries caused in contact sports and other adventures. Mouthguards cover a larger surface area of the mouth, including the gums. Nightguards, on the other hand, are created to protect the chewing surface of the teeth and are designed to be worn longer than a mouthguard. 

Mouthguards typically cover a good bit of your gums in addition to your teeth, which is ideal for protecting as much of your mouth as possible from a stray elbow or the paved surface of a skateboarding park. But gums need to breathe, and sleeping with a covering over your gums is a recipe for bacteria growth – which is not a great idea.


If you have any questions feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.