What are dental night guards?

Dental night guards are clear, plastic guards worn at night to protect your teeth from parafunctional jaw movements.


What are parafunctional jaw movements (bruxism)?

Parafunctional jaw movements or bruxism is excessive nocturnal teeth grinding and jaw clenching.


What causes bruxism?

There are multiple causes of bruxism, but it is usually ascribed to stress, emotional tension and fear. This “nocturnal tooth wear” related to daily stress is in fact a way in which our organism deals with it in a relaxed state. We cannot control these movements, but we can protect our teeth from further tooth wear.


What are the consequences of bruxism?

Bruxism causes severe changes in the stomatognathic systems: excessive tooth wear, loss in tooth height and shape and possible cervical defects (exposed teeth cervices). The excessive tooth abrasion (wear) gradually results in tooth fractures, dental fillings breakage and fall out, damaged prosthetic restorations, toothache and periodontal damage and bone loss. Tooth wear gradually reduces the bite height which affects the appearance of the lower third of the face. The patient experiences pain and changes in jaw joints, chewing muscles fatigue, headaches, as well as ear and neck pain and morning jaw stiffness and fatigue.


How does a night guard protect from tooth wear?

A night guard protects the teeth by preventing the direct contact and subsequent tooth wear between the upper and lower teeth. However, it is important to know that while night guards will preserve the remaining tooth tissue from further tooth wear, they will not restore the lost tooth structure. If You want to restore the lost structures, they should be reconstructed. Minor defects caused by tooth wear can be reconstructed by composite fillings, while excessive loss of tooth structure requires prosthetic reconstructions (e.g. inlays, veneers, crowns). Reconstructing lost tooth structures increases the bite height and thus restores the ideal height of the lower third of the face.


When to opt for a night guard?

You should opt for a night guard in case you notice any of the symptoms of bruxism (nocturnal grinding and teeth clenching, tooth damage resulting in the loss of tooth structure and tooth hypersensitivity, morning headaches and jaw soreness…).

Wearing a night guard is also recommended for patients with pronounced parafunctional movements after they have undergone the prosthetic reconstruction (veneers, crowns, bridges) in order to avoid the undesired ceramics breakage and tooth wear of the remaining teeth, as well as for patients suffering from periodontal diseases in order to prevent teeth movements.


What are the differences between night guards, retainers and sports mouth guards?

Retainers are identical to night guards in appearance and methods of fabrication, but differ according to the thickness of the guard itself. However, the main difference is in their function. While night guards are used to protect the teeth from further tooth wear, retainers are used to maintain the teeth in their new positions after orthodontic treatment.

Sports mouth guards can also be similar in appearance to night guards. They are worn while playing sports to protect the teeth from sudden kicks and thus, from tooth damage and fractures. There are ready-made mouth guards (bought off the shelf and adjusted to teeth) and custom-made (made according to individual dental impressions and thus better and more precise than ready-made mouth guards).


Are there night guards for breathing disorders?

There are also mouth guards (the Silencer) for patients who suffer from sleep disordered breathing (apnea, snoring). These devices snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward, thus preventing the airway obstruction.


What is the procedure for making a night guard?

  • The procedure for making a night guard:
    After the initial examination and diagnostics, we primarily determine whether you are viable for a night guard (and which type) and then the impressions of Your teeth are taken in the dental office.
  • Based on the impressions of Your teeth, the dental laboratory makes the dental cast, followed by adapting plastic foil od corresponding thickness to it by a special machine.

How many visits to the dental office are required to make a night guard?

In order to make a night guard, two visits to the dental office are required. During the first visit, the impressions of the teeth are usually taken, while in the second visit the patient is presented with their custom-made night guard. If necessary, the night guard can be made in one day only.


What is the expected lifespan of night guards?

The expected lifespan of a night guard is around 1.5-2 years. It can last longer if there are no signs of parafunctional yaw movements and if excellent hygiene of both the mouth and the night guard is maintained. Otherwise, You might bite through the night guard shortly and need to have it replaced in the shortest possible time. However, You should keep in mind that frequent replacement of your night guard is better than exposing your teeth to tooth wear. Inadequate hygiene of both the mouth and the night guard also calls for an early replacement.


How to keep Your night guard clean?

Night guards are made of special plastic and are worn at night when the flow of saliva is reduced causing bacteria deposits and bad breath. It is thereby necessary to clean your teeth by using toothpaste, dental floss and/or an interdental brush before you go to bed and not eat or drink anything but water afterwards. Your night guard should also be cleaned by using a toothbrush and toothpaste, and the whole process repeated in the morning after waking up. In order to maintain hygiene of the night guard it is also recommended to use denture cleaning tablets every day. The night guard is submerged in a glass with solution of denture disinfectant (denture disinfectant tablets) around 15 minutes or in accordance with the instructions by the manufacturer.


Why choose to make a night guard or other mouth guards in OUR practice?

1. We have 17 years of experience in producing night guards.
2. Along with your night guard, we will also provide you with a nicely designed and practical case for storing Your night guard.
3. We try to make you feel comfortable and relaxed in our office, without any fear.
4. We respect your wishes relating to the health and beauty of your future smile and try to fulfil them completely.
5. Our goal is to make your smile functional and aesthetically perfect.
6. All night guards, and other types of mouth guards are made of high-quality materials.
7. The work in your mouth will be painless and safe, we will do our best to make it as comfortable as possible and our service as good.
8. At any moment we are available to you for advice and consultation via mobile phone, e-mail and social media.
9. We try to keep our appointments.
10. You can pay in cash, but also in interest free instalments: American Express up to 12 instalments, Diners up to 6 instalments, Erste & Steiermärkische bank Maestro and MasterCard up to 12 instalments.
11. There is free parking in front of the practice. 

If you think we can meet your criteria, feel free to contact us and make your appointment.

If you’re unable to find an answer to your question about night guards and other mouth guards, dental health or dental services, please feel free to contact us.

We are at your disposal!

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