Ask a Dentist

February 3, 2023

Q: Do I Need A Night Guard?

Left hand holding out a nightguard against a yellow backdrop

A night guard is a fitted plastic piece molded to your teeth to protect them from clenching or grinding at night. 

Approximately eight per cent of the population experiences bruxism at night, according to the National Library of Medicine. It can cause several issues, but you might not realize you’re doing it until your dentist tells you during your regular checkup.

How Can A Night Guard Help You?

  • Prevents tooth damage. Bruxism can flatten, fracture, chip or loosen your teeth as well as wear down your tooth enamel. A night guard offers a protective layer between your teeth.
  • Alleviates headaches. Clenching for a long time can create tenderness and pain in your jaw, which can lead to headaches. 
  • Reduces jaw tension and prevents TMD. Everyday actions like laughing or talking may be painful if your jaw is stiff from grinding and clenching all night. 
  • Better sleep. If your teeth are constantly grinding and clenching all night, you’re probably not sleeping soundly. Bruxism can also be loud and painful, causing restless sleep.
  • Prevents snoring. Grinding and clenching can narrow your airway while you sleep, which prevents you from breathing properly and causes snoring. Night guards can help relax your jaw muscle and lessen this. Bruxism is more commonly found among people who also have issues with snoring, sleep talking, sleep paralysis and other sleep disorders, according to The Bruxism Association

If you’re experiencing unexplained tooth damage, headaches, jaw tension, poor sleep or snoring, you may be grinding your teeth at night. If you think you may benefit from a nightguard, make an appointment at one of our Winnipeg dental clinics located in Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre. We can also suggest other ways to treat your teeth grinding. 

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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