Night guards are custom made hard acrylic appliances aimed to minimize the damage a person can do to their teeth during sleep, and is commonly used to treat bruxism. This is a condition where a person will grind their teeth side to side during their sleep. However, even in the absence of a diagnosis of bruxism, many people will still clench and grind their teeth at some point in their life to varying degrees. It is not often that a person will continually grind or clench their teeth throughout the entire course of sleep, a person may spend only a few minutes grinding or clenching. However, during times of stress can this habit may increase in terms of intensity and frequency.
One of the first signs of a clenching or grinding habit that we may notice from you is tooth wear. The enamel on our teeth is the hardest substance in our body, so it may be a while before the wear facets begin to show, but when they do, a night guard should be worn every night.
With contact sports it is often a requirement to wear a sports guard to minimize the risk of concussions. A custom made sport guard can be more comfortable to wear and less likely to shift or fall out upon impact. As for non contact sports, we don’t often associate them with sport guards, but considering a lot of people develop a habit of clenching their teeth during times of exertion or during extreme concentration, wearing a sport guard even in non-contact sports may be worthwhile to consider.