Can You Use a Mouth guard As a Night Guard

When diagnosed with bruxism, most denturists may suggest a few remedies for their patients to resolve the issue. The most common is a night guard which is not necessarily a treatment but a way to help avoid probable damage to a patient’s teeth.

A night guard is an oral device that patients wear while they sleep to absorb all the clenching and grinding forces. Night guards prescribed by local denturists are different from mouth guards in that they serve different purposes in the mouth and are made of different materials as well.

Most people wonder whether a mouth guard can serve the same purpose as a night guard. Let’s look at the differences in both devices in order to decide if that’s really ideal.

Differences in material

A night guard shields teeth from grinding and clenching during sleep. A patient wears it every night or any time they go to sleep and as such, the material used to manufacture it is not as thick but is solid enough to serve its function.

The material used to make mouth guards, on the other hand, is heavier because of the purpose it serves. Local denturists ordinarily prescribe mouth guards to athletes and individuals who engage highly in physical activity such as rugby, boxing, and gymnastics in order to shield their teeth from damage typically caused by a physical blow to the jaw.

The heavy material used to make mouth guard spreads and covers the entire jaw including the gums to ensure the protection of the entire mouth.

Differences in function

Both mouth guards and night guards are intended to shield teeth but in different ways. A night guard protects teeth surfaces from the wear and tear caused by continuous clenching and grinding. A mouth guard, on the other hand, protects the mouth in case of sudden, hard impact.

Therefore, while a night guard’s durable hard acrylic plastic can weather clenching and grinding over a long period of time, a mouth guard is usually made of softer material that can absorb the force of sudden impact.

While a dental night guard only needs to cover the occlusal surface, a mouth guard needs to cover the entire mouth. You can find mouth guards easily in stores but night guards are usually custom made by denturists.

Since they are not custom made, mouth guards are not only painful to wear but they are also not as effective. A mouth guard may provide some protection in case of teeth clenching and grinding but it’s not the best solution because both the shape and material are different to serve a different purpose.

Mouth guards will thus be bulky and uncomfortable in the mouth of a sleeping person and for that reason, it is safe to say that while you can decide to wear a mouth guard as a substitute of a prescribed night guard to gain some protection against new dentures clenching and grinding, it is a bargained choice. For the perfect solution to teeth grinding, you should opt for a professionally made, custom dental night guard.

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