Dr. Dania A. Pellerano: DMM Family Dental Care, LLC


Night Guards and Oral Health

Night Guards and Oral Health

Night guards are oral appliances designed to protect teeth and jaws from the harmful effects of teeth grinding or clenching, medically known as bruxism. These custom-made devices are typically worn during sleep to cushion the teeth and prevent them from coming into direct contact, thus reducing wear on tooth enamel, preventing tooth sensitivity, and alleviating jaw pain and headaches caused by bruxism. Night guards can be made from soft, flexible materials for comfort or harder materials for durability, depending on the severity of the grinding. They are prescribed by dentists in Albuquerque, based on individual needs and can significantly improve oral health by preserving tooth structure and minimizing the impact of bruxism-related symptoms.

Signs You Might Need a Night Guard

  • Waking up with soreness or tiredness in your jaw muscles can indicate nighttime teeth grinding or clenching, which puts excessive strain on your jaw.
  • Increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages, especially without a history of dental problems, can indicate enamel wear caused by bruxism.
  • Regular morning headaches, particularly around the temples or forehead, may result from the muscle tension and pressure exerted on the jaw during nighttime grinding or clenching.
  • Teeth that appear flattened, chipped, or fractured without a clear cause, such as trauma, are often signs of bruxism-related damage.
  • Persistent tightness or tension in the jaw muscles, especially during waking hours, can indicate that you've been clenching or grinding your teeth during sleep.
  • Bruxism can disrupt your sleep, causing you to wake up frequently during the night or experience difficulty falling asleep due to discomfort or pain in the jaw.

Types of Night Guards

Soft Night Guards

Soft night guards are made from a flexible material, typically silicone or a similar substance. They are popular for their comfort, as the soft material cushions the teeth and gums. Soft night guards are suitable for individuals with mild to moderate bruxism, offering relief from soreness and protecting teeth from wear. However, they may not be as durable as harder materials and need more frequent replacement.

Hard Night Guards

Contrasting with soft night guards, hard night guards are crafted from rigid acrylic materials. These more durable guards offer superior protection against teeth grinding and clenching. They are recommended for individuals with moderate to severe bruxism, as they can withstand the forces exerted during grinding without wearing down quickly. Due to their firmness, hard night guards may take some time to get used to, but they provide a robust defense against tooth damage.

Dual-Layer Night Guards

Dual-layer night guards combine the benefits of both soft and hard materials. They typically feature a soft inner layer for comfort and a hard outer layer for durability and protection. This design aims to provide optimal cushioning for the teeth while ensuring long-lasting wear resistance. Dual-layer night guards are suitable for individuals who require both comfort and robust teeth protection, offering a balanced solution to address varying degrees of bruxism.

Custom-Fit Night Guards

Custom-fit night guards are considered the gold standard for comfort and effectiveness. These guards are individually crafted by a dentist or orthodontist using impressions of the patient's teeth. The custom fit ensures a precise and snug fit, maximizing comfort and providing superior protection against teeth grinding and clenching. Custom-fit night guards can be made from soft or hard materials and tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of the patient. Contact us today to learn more.

Stock Night Guards

Stock night guards are pre-formed and ready-to-wear, available over the counter in standard sizes. They are the most affordable option but provide the least customization and comfort. Stock night guards may require adaptation to fit properly and offer limited effectiveness in protecting against teeth grinding and clenching, particularly for individuals with more severe bruxism.

Benefits of Using a Night Guard

Prevents Tooth Damage

One of the primary benefits of using a night guard in Albuquerque, is the prevention of tooth damage. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can wear down tooth enamel, cause chips, and cracks, and increase tooth sensitivity. A night guard acts as a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other and preserving the integrity of the tooth structure.

Reduces Jaw Pain and Tension

Night guards can significantly reduce jaw pain and tension associated with teeth grinding and clenching. By creating a cushion between the teeth, night guards help to alleviate the pressure on the jaw muscles, reducing discomfort and preventing conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Minimizes Headaches

Many people who grind their teeth at night wake up with headaches due to the constant tension in the jaw and facial muscles. Using a night guard can help minimize these headaches by reducing the strain on the muscles and providing relief from the constant clenching.

Improves Sleep Quality

Teeth grinding can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to restless nights and fatigue. Wearing a night guard can help improve sleep quality by reducing the occurrences of grinding and the associated disturbances. This can lead to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

Prevents Dental Work Damage

If you have had dental work done, such as crowns, bridges, or veneers, a night guard can help protect these restorations from the damaging effects of bruxism. By wearing a night guard, you can extend the lifespan of your dental work and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Night guards are valuable tools for protecting teeth from the harmful effects of bruxism and jaw clenching. Visit our dentist in Albuquerque, NM, at 8400 Osuna Rd NE, Suite 5B, Albuquerque 87111, or call (505) 292-8515 to protect your smile and invest in your dental health with a custom night guard designed just for you. 


8400 Osuna Rd NE Suite 5B,
Albuquerque 87111

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