Do I Need a Night Guard?

Maybe you’ve woken up with sore teeth, a temporarily uncomfortable jaw, even a possible dull to piercing morning headache. If you or a loved one has suffered from any of these indicators, you’ve probably attempted to simply “Google” some of the symptoms to find out what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, Google is a terrific resource but in many cases will just evoke fear of something far more serious and probably unlikely. If you’ve experienced any of these signs, you may be suffering from a condition called bruxism, or teeth grinding. According to the American Dental Association, teeth grinding affects around 10-15% of Americans today. There are many ways to mitigate the effects of teeth grinding, the most common being a night guard. In this article, we will talk about the kinds of patients who could benefit from a night guard, the consequences of untreated bruxism, and the kinds of results you should expect after sleeping with a night guard.

-Why Do I Grind My Teeth?: Teeth grinding can occur for many reasons. Some include high stress levels and anxiety in your everyday life. More commonly, teeth grinding can be attributed to an irregular bite or from crooked or missing teeth.

-I’m Not Sure if I Grind My Teeth. How Do I Know For Sure?: It’s impossible to notice if you’re grinding your teeth at night since you’re fast asleep. The key indicators happen just as you are waking up and starting your day. Symptoms include: morning headaches, a sore, stiff or tender jaw, or painful/sensitive teeth.

What Happens to Untreated Bruxism?: In serious cases, continual grinding of teeth can result in breaking or even loss of teeth. Untreated grinding will continue to wear the teeth down and will inevitably require treatment such as bridges, crowns, implants, etc..

-How Does a Night Guard Help?: Dr. Nishimura and our team here at Aspen Dental can fit you for a custom night guard that will protect you from grinding your teeth at night. You’ll put the night guard in before bed at night and it will act as a shield between your teeth, saving you from straining your jaw or destroying your precious pearly whites!

-Is it Expensive?: A very good and frequently asked question. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be covered for a portion or the entirety of a custom fitted night guard. If you have any questions about pricing, please feel free to give us a call and we can give you an estimate based on your coverage.

Post your questions or give us a call if you’d rather talk in person. We are more than happy to help eliviate your pain and get you back on track to optimal oral health! (303) 399-0400. For more information, visit us online at