Bruxism is the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth that happens during the day (due to stress) or night (during sleep). You might not even be aware of it until the symptoms surface. These include headache, local muscular pain, gum recession, and loose teeth. The condition can lead to oral complications. Using the right mouthguard, after consulting your dentist, is a good way to prevent the symptoms.
We have researched and narrowed down on the top 10 mouthguards available on the market. In this post, we will discuss those, along with more information on bruxism. But before that let’s dig in a bit and know more about bruxism.
In This Article
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity marked by excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching. The symptoms of bruxism are easily identifiable, and so are its complications. Though not life-threatening, bruxism can lead to painful symptoms, such as acute headache, chipped teeth, and jaw pain.
Dental attrition is a type of tooth wear caused by tooth-to-tooth contact and can be a manifestation of bruxism. Occasional bruxism is common and does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding happens regularly, it can damage your teeth and lead to other oral health complications. Conditions like poor sleep quality and duration have also been linked to bruxism.
No cure exists for this condition. But bruxism can be treated by your dentist with dental equipment known as a splint or mouthguard. The specialized mouthguards reduce grinding and clenching during the night.
Bruxism is of different types. We will explore that in the next section.
Types Of Bruxism
There are three different types of bruxism, and each may require a different approach to treatment.
- Sleep Bruxism: Nocturnal bruxism occurs while a person is asleep. Sleep bruxism is a common phenomenon, and according to a survey, 8% of adults grind their teeth at night (1). Also, more than a third of the parents report symptoms of bruxism in their children. You may not even be aware of it, but the sound can wake up the person sleeping with you. Recent studies have linked nocturnal bruxism to sleep apnea (2).
- Daytime Bruxism: While uncommon, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth subconsciously while you’re awake. Diurnal bruxism is mostly related to stress. It is common in high-stress professions, including law enforcement and IT (3).
- Children’s Bruxism: It is estimated that nearly 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth (4). This usually happens when their permanent teeth start erupting, and this habit usually stops after their adult teeth are fully formed. But, if the habit continues, then it’s better to consult a dentist.
As we discussed, bruxism can be treated. Mouthguards can help in this regard. In the following section, we have listed the top 10 night guards available on the market.
10 Best Night Guards – 2021
J&S Dental Lab Custom Dental Night Guard is dentist-approved and fully customizable. You can choose a soft, semi-hard, or all-hard night guard. The thickness of the guard ranges from 0.06” to 0.16″. This night guard can last up to 5 years, depending upon the use and the teeth grinding habit and severity.
You need to mail your dental impression back to the company, where the skilled technicians will set to work to create your customized night guard. For giving your dental impression, you need to follow a 5-minute DIY teeth impression process. This guard provides a superior fit and is durable when compared to other OTC boil guards. This product is FDA approved and is made of BPA-free and latex-free material. It also comes with a one-year free replacement policy.
- Approved by dentists
- FDA approved
- BPA-free and Latex-free
- Customized night guard
This high quality professional moldable mouthguard is an excellent dental appliance. It is made of thermoplastic premium medical grade material that is BPA-free and phthalate-free. The moldable material custom fits to accommodate any mouth size. This mouthguard is easy to clean and is reusable.
The ConfiDental mouthguard is a perfect solution for teeth grinders and people with bruxism. It can also be used as a teeth whitening tray and sports mouthguard. Each pack includes a total of 5 mouthguards: 3 for regular protection, and 2 heavy-duty mouthguards.
- Made of soft thermoplastic
- BPA-free and phthalate-free material
- Suitable for all ages
- Easy to clean and reusable
- Custom fits to accommodate any mouth size
LORIOUS mouthguard is moldable and can be worn on the upper or lower teeth. The teeth grinding guard is an excellent pick for kids, youth, and adults with bruxism. This mouthguard can also be used for teeth protection by athletes. It can also be used as a teeth whitening tray. It is made of BPA-free and phthalate-free premium grade material. This mouthguard is trimmable to fit any mouth size.
Each kit of LORIOUS mouthguard contains four customizable and trimmable mouthguards of 3 mm thickness, one travel hygiene case, and a step-by-step instruction book for the molding and fitting process. You can easily mold and customize the guard right at your home by putting it in boiling water.
- loose tooth
- Premium-grade material
- Heavy-duty protection
- Comfortable and safe
This custom-molded anti-teeth grinding mouthguard is a simple and effective solution for bruxism. NEOMEN Health is trimmable to fit any mouth size and can be molded to fit a wide variety of teeth alignments, tooth sizes, and mouth shapes. This moldable dental mouthguard is made of high-quality BPA-free and phthalate-free material.
Each pack contains four mouthguards in two different sizes that are fit for adults and kids and comes with an antibacterial case. It is a highly versatile mouthguard that can be used as an anti-teeth grinding mouthpiece, an athletic mouthguard, and a teeth whitening tray. This product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure risk-free shopping. It is a perfect choice for people with bruxism as it eliminates grinding and improves sleep.
- Trimmable to fit any mouth size
- Antibacterial case
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 4 mouthguards in 2 different sizes
- Not durable
ProDental mouthguard is the only brand on the market that has direct dentist support. This guard prevents teeth grinding, bruxism, clenching, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). This set of three mouthguards can be trimmed and customized to fit any mouth size for optimal comfort and retention.
This mouthguard is made in the USA from high-quality, long-lasting, hygienic, soft, FDA-approved odor-free, and taste-free polyvinyl material. It can be worn on the upper or lower teeth and fits a variety of teeth alignments, tooth sizes, and mouth shapes.
- Perfect fit
- Custom molded
- Finest quality polyvinyl material
- Difficult to set up
This mouthguard is made of high-quality non-latex and BPA-free silicone material. It is moldable and easy to adjust to provide maximum comfort. This product is perfect for treating teeth grinding and bruxism and is sure to reduce your teeth wear. The dentist-approved comfortable design can be trimmed and customized to fit your teeth alignment and mouth shape.
This is a versatile product and can be used as a teeth whitening tray and sports mouthguard as well. This features a free antibacterial case that allows you to store your mouthguard hygienically while traveling and thus eliminates germs and infection.
- Dentist approved
- Easy to fit and remove
- Made of silicone non-latex material
- Versatile use
- Size issues
DenaPro2000 mouthguards eliminate bruxism, TMJ pain, teeth grinding, and clenching. This FDA-approved mouthguard is made of high-quality silicone material and is BPA-free and latex-free. It is a versatile product and can be used by athletes and as a teeth whitening tray as well. This mouthpiece is moldable for custom fit and can fit your upper and lower teeth.
This product is dentist-approved and is also helpful in minimizing snoring. It comes with a free, hygienic case that helps to prevent germs and infection. Its slim and flexible design enables you to sleep comfortably. This mouthguard comfortably fits all mouth sizes and is moldable to different mouth shape alignments and teeth sizes.
- Made with durable material
- Comfortably fits all mouth sizes
- Slim and flexible design
The SleepRight dental guard is durable. It prevents the teeth from grinding and clenching without the hassle of boiling water or microwaving to mold and fit. This product features dura-comfort bite pads that are more durable for severe teeth grinders and clenchers. The front band is anatomically designed to provide a more comfortable fit. It conforms to the mouth using body temperature.
This mouthguard automatically swivels to match the bite angle and adjusts to fit all sizes. It includes stability wings for extra safety and security. The bite-pads sit comfortably between the molars and are held in place by the soft tissue of the cheeks and the lower lip. This guard does not contain BPA, silicone, latex, phthalates, or any other toxins. It is manufactured in an FDA inspected facility.
- No-boil dental guard
- Great fit
- Adjusts to fit all sizes
- Stability wings for extra comfort and security
- Free from BPA, silicone, latex, phthalates or any harmful toxins
ASRL Dental Guards are dentist-approved and offer peaceful night’s sleep preventing grinding, clenching, and tapping teeth in sleep. This comfortable bendable mouth guard is made of Ethylene-vinyl acetate. They effectively minimize the discomfort caused by bruxism. You can also use this mouthguard as a teeth whitening tray and during sporting activities to protect against impacts.
These dental guards come in two sizes but can be further customized to fit your teeth by trimming the edges. The guards have soft edges, a firm layer, and provide good airflow. In addition, they come with 2 mm thickness, not creating any discomfort.
- FDA approved
- Medical-grade material
Plackers Grind No More Dental Mouth Guard features a grooved bite plate that absorbs grinding and clenching throughout the night, while a specialized lip prevents the guard from slipping. This night mouth guard for sleep is ready to use. You don’t have to boil, cut or mold it, unlike other molds.
These disposable and ready-to-use night guards are individually packed, making them easy to carry during travel. It is hygienic and can be used for three nights. It is BPA-free and has a streamlined one-size-fits-all design.
- One-size-fits-all design
- Hygienic and disposable guards
- No boiling, cutting, or molding required
- Wear on the bottom or top teeth
- Individually packed
- Size issues
Choosing a nightguard should be a well-researched decision. An uncomfortable night guard can not only disturb your sleep but also hurt your mouth and gums. You can go for any type, but remember to check whether the products match your specifications or not. The above list of the top 10 night guards has been prepared after a careful review of the products and their ratings. We hope the list will help you in your quest for the perfect night teeth guard.
In the following section, we discuss bruxism in detail.
Symptoms Of Bruxism
If you notice any of the following symptoms or signs, you may be experiencing bruxism:
- Loud grinding or tooth clenching at night, causing sounds loud enough that disturb your partner
- Rhythmic contraction of the jaw muscles
- Chronic headache
- Temporomandibular Joint Discomfort
- Facial myalgia
- Tightness and stiffness of the shoulders
- Damaged teeth and broken dental fillings and injured gums
- Cuts and sores from biting the inner cheek
These are a few common symptoms of bruxism. Your dentist will check for the signs of bruxism during your routine dental check-up.
Causes Of Bruxism
Bruxism may be caused due to a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. Bruxism usually stems from stress – nearly 70% of bruxism cases are related to anxiety and stress.
Adults with intense emotions or who are hyperactive or aggressive personalities are prone to bruxism. In the past, bruxism was linked to misaligned teeth and was treated sometimes with orthodontics. However, this has been disproven.
Recent studies have linked bruxism to sleep apnea. Why bruxism occurs is not always clear. Experts believe multiple factors may lead to bruxism. A few of those are listed below:
- Stress And Anxiety: It has been found out that nearly 70% of bruxism occurs because of stress and anxiety. Job-related stress is also one of the most significant factors associated with bruxism.
- Nervous System Abnormalities: Our central nervous system controls the neurotransmitters and mechanics that affect our sleep arousal episodes that occur with changes in sleep intensity. People with nervous system abnormalities are more prone to bruxism episodes, and these episodes typically occur during periods of sleep arousal.
- Age: Bruxism is common in children, while many adults also experience it. A majority of children recover from their symptoms before the age of 18.
- Genetic: Heredity also defines the occurrence of bruxism in people. A large number of people with bruxism have noticed the condition either in one of their parents or in one of their children. People with nocturnal bruxism are much likelier to have children with sleep bruxism.
- Psychoactive Substances: The use of psychoactive substances, like tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, etc., also increases the risk of bruxism as these substances increase arousal and lead to problems falling asleep, staying asleep, and daytime sleepiness.
Other mental and medical disorders associated with bruxism are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hyperactivity disorder
There are three different types of mouthguards available for people with night bruxism. You can choose the model according to your specifications and preferences.
Types Of Mouthguards For Sleep Bruxism
1. Custom Designed Mouthguards
Custom-fitted mouthguards are made in a dentist’s office or professional laboratories. These mouthguards are made with the dentist’s instructions that are prepared after taking the detailed impression of the patient’s mouth. A prescription mouthguard requires a dental visit, but for custom designs, you need to send your dental impression to the company’s manufacturing unit. The custom made mouthguards are more expensive than the other types.
2. Boil And Bite Mouth Protectors
This mouthguard can be purchased from any sporting goods store. This mouthguard uses the same technology as athletic mouthpieces. It is made of thermoplastic material that softens in boiled water. Once softened, it is then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using the finger and tongue. This mouthguard is not as sophisticated as the custom models but is way cheaper.
Stock mouth protectors can be bought at most sporting good stores and departmental stores and are relatively inexpensive. These guards are bulky and come in one size, which cannot be customized. It is difficult to breathe or talk while wearing this mouthguard, and it provides very less protection.
Here’s a list of a few key factors that you need to bear in mind while shopping for a mouthguard.
Look for the following features while buying a mouthguard:
- Material: When shopping for a mouthguard, ensure that it is BPA- and latex-free. Mouthguards usually consist of two layers: a softer layer made up of acrylic, and a rigid bottom layer made up of materials like laminate. The less costly models generally consist of one layer only.
- Ease Of Clean: A majority of the mouthguards require daily rinsing and storage in a sterilized container. However, cleaning some specialty models may be more expensive and time-consuming.
- Durability: Your mouthguard needs to be heavy-duty to withstand the pressure you apply while grinding your teeth. While normal chewing exerts only 20 to 40 pounds of force on your teeth, the clenching that occurs in bruxism can exert hundreds of pounds of force on your teeth. Hence, your mouthguard needs to be sturdy to be effective.
- Comfort: A night guard is used to do away with the problems and discomfort of teeth grinding. The guard should have a snug fit and be comfortable to wear. An ill-fitting mouth guard will add to your agony. Hence, comfort is one of the most defining factors.
- Fitting: It is best to get a piece that is molded to fit your teeth individually. Finding a night guard with such fit will be time-consuming and expensive, but the results will be worth the effort.
Nightguards are essential to prevent the potential impending damage to your oral health that might happen because of bruxism. Do consult your dentist to know your requirements. If you happen to buy any of the products listed in this article, don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comment box below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to stop teeth grinding naturally?
Bruxism happens unconsciously and often while we are asleep. The best way to counter it is to use a nightguard. Nightguard will not stop you from grinding your teeth but protects your teeth from the wear and damage that happens due to grinding and clenching.
Can you wear a mouthguard with braces?
Yes, you can wear a mouthguard with braces. It is imperative to protect your teeth, gums, lips, and tongue and also to protect your braces. An anti-grinding night guard can cover just the upper and lower teeth.
How much does a mouthguard cost?
An occlusal guard can cost you anywhere between $300 to $1000. You can buy it online for as low as $80. The boil-and-bite and stock models may cost as little as $20 or less.
How long does a mouthguard last?
Nightguards come with varying durability. A night guard’s lifespan is somewhere between 2-10 years (much lower for the softer versions). Careful maintenance of your night guard can prolong its life.
How should I clean my night guard?
A quick way to clean your night guard is by using cold water, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Apart from this drill, which should be done daily, it is recommended that you soak your night guard in a mix of water and a nightguard cleaner for a few hours. This should be done once a week.
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- Teeth Grinding. National Sleep Foundation.
- Sleep bruxism related to obstructive sleep apnea: the effect of continuous positive airway pressure. Sleep Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Work, Stress, and Diurnal Bruxism: A Pilot Study among Information Technology Professionals in Bangalore City, India. International Journal of Dentistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism). Cleveland Clinic.