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How Important Is a Custom Night Guard?

June 28, 2019 | Custom Night Guard | The Office of Palisades Dentists

How common is it to grind your teeth? As it turns out, it’s pretty common. In a recent study, The Journal of Oral and Facial Pain and Headache reported that 8 to 31.4 percent of people experience bruxism, the name of the diagnosis for unconsciously clenching, grinding, or gnashing your teeth.

That means anywhere between 26 and 102 million Americans are unconsciously grinding their teeth and exposing themselves to the possibility of oral complications.

How Common is Grinding your Teeth_

With that many people unknowingly harming their teeth, it is more important than ever to understand the importance of a custom-fit night guard, which will prevent any of the harmful effects of jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

man with clenched teeth-img-blogDespite all of the research that has been done, doctors still do not fully understand what causes bruxism. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of a bruxism diagnosis:


Anxiety and stress can lead to increased teeth grinding because of how tense your body becomes.


Bruxism is more common in children than it is in adults.


Some personality types are more prone to bruxism than others. If you are competitive, hyperactive, or aggressive, you may be at a higher risk for developing bruxism.


Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and prescription or recreational drugs use can also increase the risk of bruxism.


If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with bruxism, the likelihood of you having the same condition increases. According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information study, if either of your parents has a history of bruxism, you are 1.8 times more likely to develop bruxism as well.


Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, night terrors, epilepsy, sleep apnea, and ADHD are all associated with bruxism.

Grinding your teeth can cause…

  • Flattened, chipped, or loose teeth
  • Damaged tooth enamel
  • Sensitive or painful teeth
  • Soreness in the neck, face, or jaw
  • Pain resembling an ear or headache, starting at the temple near the eyes
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Are Night Guards Comfortable?

When you buy a generic night guard from somewhere like Amazon or Wal-Mart, you aren’t getting a product that is tailored to the unique anatomy of your mouth. There is no guarantee that the shape of the molding will fit your teeth correctly.

man adjusting transparent aligners in his white teeth-img-blog

In many cases, mouth guards sold at retail locations can be cumbersome and cause more discomfort than they solve. After all, your dentition is as unique as your fingerprints, which means that every night guard needs to be custom-fit to avoid this discomfort.

Many patients become frustrated with these generic night guards simply because they can’t sleep with them on.

When you visit The Palisades Dentists, your dentist will examine your teeth and take an impression that will be used to create the best possible mouth guard. The result will be a guard that is comfortable enough to wear through the night.

If you are interested in getting more information about bruxism or would like to talk to put an end to all of the irritating side effects that result from grinding your teeth, give our office a call at 310-459-2303 or visit our contact page to schedule a consultation.