Do you have dull headaches, jaw soreness, or teeth that are painful, loose, or fractured? You may be grinding your teeth, a condition known as bruxism. Teeth grinding can cause a wide variety of problems, including sore jaw muscles, headaches, and even broken teeth. Wearing night guards can help protect against tooth damage and other conditions associated with bruxism.


Bruxism is common. In fact, 30 to 40 million adults and children in the United States grind their teeth. Clenching and grinding your teeth are natural reactions to anger, fear, or stress; although, you may grind your teeth when you feel perfectly calm and relaxed. You might even be grinding your teeth and not realize it.

There are two main types of bruxism:

  • Nocturnal bruxism, or sleep bruxism- when you grind your teeth while asleep
  • Awake bruxism- when you grind your sleep while awake

Involuntary clenching and grinding from either type of bruxism can wear down tooth enamel over time to expose the dental tissue, known as dentin. Exposing the dentin makes your teeth sensitive to cold.

The Effects of Tooth Grinding

Clenching and grinding your teeth can put up to 250 pounds of force on your teeth. This excessive force can chip, crack, or even break your teeth. Bruxism can also damage dental work, such as dental crowns and fillings.

Bruxism can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Earaches
  • Teeth that appear worn down or flat
  • Tired or stiff jaw
  • Sensitivity to cold foods and beverages
  • Disruptions in your sleep

Severe bruxism can cause more serious problems, such as:

  • Chronic headaches or migraines, especially when you wake up in the morning
  • Jaw dysfunction known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
  • Unexplained facial pain
  • Chipped or broken teeth or fillings
  • Injured gums

Even if you have these symptoms, you may not realize that you are grinding your teeth, especially if it happens mostly at night. If you are like many people with night bruxism, you only discover it when the grinding noise you make disturbs the sleep of someone who shares a bedroom with you.

Protect Your Teeth from Grinding Damage with Night Guards

There is no cure for bruxism, but you can take steps to protect your teeth. The first step is to address any underlying causes of teeth grinding, such as stress. The next step is to wear a night guard, also known as a dental guard, nocturnal bite plate, mouth guard, or bite splint.

A night guard is a type of mouth guard that protects your mouth from the damage caused by bruxism. Specifically, a night guard acts as a shield to prevent the surfaces of your teeth from rubbing against each other when you grind your teeth. Night guards also help reduce the tension in your jaw muscles and provide a cushion that helps ease the pain in your face and jaw.


night guard and comfort bite splint
night guard and comfort bite splint

Types of Night Guards

There are several types of guards for nightly tooth grinding, including:

  • Soft night guards – comfortable short-term solution, used for mild or occasional teeth grinding but not for severe bruxism or chronic teeth grinding
  • Hard night guards – made from rigid and durable acrylic for severe cases of bruxism and TM disorders

Your dentist can help you decide which type of night guard is best for you, depending on the severity of your bruxism and the overall health of your teeth.

Comfort H/S Bite Split Option

The dental professionals at Kawveh Nofallah DMD specialize in creating custom-made night guards to help protect your teeth from damage. We may recommend the Comfort H/S Bite Splint, a custom-made night guard constructed from ISO-certified materials that are BPA-free and non-allergenic. We can make this clear, thin, and removable night guard to fit over your upper teeth as you sleep.

The Comfort H/S Bite Splint provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Treating any teeth sensitivity caused by bruxism
  • Relieving jaw and tooth pain
  • Protecting your teeth and gums from the damage of tooth grinding
  • Custom-made fit for optimal protection and comfort
  • Being free of BPA, which is a chemical often found in plastics that may cause health problems
  • Metal and acrylic-free

For best results, wear it regularly for at least six weeks to give yourself time to get used to wearing it, and to make it a part of your nightly routine. Put your night guard in right before going to sleep and remove it as soon as you wake up.

For more information, consult with Kawveh Nofallah DMD. We can help you determine if you grind your teeth during the day or night, or if you have any tooth damage resulting from bruxism. We can also recommend a night guard as needed, and even custom-make a night guard for you to wear.

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