Should You Use a Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?

If you suffer from the painful and potentially dangerous condition called Bruxism, which is the grinding of teeth while you sleep,or under stress you may be considering treating the condition with a mouth guard. There are a few treatments for Bruxism, but for many people, a mouth guard can solve the problems that come from grinding teeth. However, before you decide upon this particular treatment, you should know exactly what Bruxism is, and how a mouth guard will treat your condition, as well as the pros and the cons to using a mouth guard for Bruxism.

Mouth Guard For Grinding Teeth

What Causes Bruxism?

You might be surprised to learn that there is no consensus as to what causes Bruxism. Most experts agree that stress is the likely candidate. Daily stress that everyone experiences can cause some sufferers to grind their teeth. However, most people that are looking at a mouth guard as a deterrent for their Bruxism suffer it at night while they are sleeping. Some of the specific factors that may influence Bruxism include whether or not teeth are lined up, your own personal clenching habits, posture, your de-stressing habits and diet, exercise and sleeping habits.

How Important is it to Treat Your Bruxism?

Whether you suffer from regular Bruxism or actually suffer from Sleep Bruxism, not dealing with your condition with a mouth guard or some other treatment can lead to some pretty serious consequences. There are many different levels to Bruxism, and while yours might be a mild case, you will still be doing long term damage if you let it go long enough. Some of the most common effects of Bruxism include headaches, damaged teeth and serious jaw disorders. If you have Sleep Bruxism, you may not even know how serious your condition is.

How a Mouth Guard Can Help?

A mouth guard can be a huge help to someone with Bruxism, especially someone who grinds their teeth at night because they will be protecting their teeth from consuming each other and preventing some of the major damage that comes with having Bruxism, such as biting down and damaging the teeth and causing headaches, and jaw problems. In the market there are different kinds of mouthguard, but for bruxisem they are not useful and sometimes thay can cause more problems than they solve.A mouth guard fits the teeth of the upper jaw and is able to eliminate all of those problems. Mouth guards can be a bit uncomfortable to wear at first, but eventually the person with Bruxism does get used to them and they end up having many benefits.

Here we are listing different types of mouth guard, their pros and cons.

The stock mouth guard – they are available in every sports store and they are the less expensive one. They can be very useful in some kind of risky sports to protect your teeth but their use for Bruxism is discouraged by every dentist on the face of the earth.

Boil and bite mouth guards- they are also easy to find in sport stores and they fit better than the first ones. They are made of thermoplastic material which is placed in hot water and than in the mouth so it takes the shape of the teeth. They also are not recommended by dentists for Bruxism treatment because shaping them in the right way is not as easy as it looks.

Custem-fitted mouth guards or nocturnal bite plate- are designed to fit your mouth perfectly and to make all the changes you need to help you get relief from Bruxism. Your dentist takes impressions of your mouth and plans what mouth guard is suitable for your problem. Since your dentist and his lab is going to work for the custom bite then it’s going to be a little expensive.

How to take care of your bite plate (mouth guard)?

Your mouth guard stays in your mouth fort at least 7 hours in your mouth where it stays in contact with saliva bacteria etc. So is very important you to take care of it or it will cause more damage then it solves
• Clean it every morning with a toothbrush and toothpaste, but you also can use normal soap than rinse it thoroughly.
• Use a adapt container to transport it, so you don’t damage or lose it.
• Check once in a while that it stays intact in time. If it gets perforated, it gets loose or it starts causing discomfort, you should immediately take an appointment with your dentist to repair or replace it.

Other Treatments for Bruxism

A mouth guard is not the only treatment that is effective for Bruxism. One treatment that might be effective is some stress management techniques that prevent you from grinding your teeth in the first place. This may not always work, but it often does. This will generally be more effective in children, because the habitual grinding will not have set in yet. If this does not work, then there may be medications that can help to prevent Bruxism from happening, although mouth guards and splints from the dentist are much more common.



TMJ Relief

TMJ pain can be a very serious problem. It is not some kind of localized pain, it can spread in different areas of the body making it more difficult. The headache and the neck pain seem they are never going away. Even if TMJ disorder doesn’t receive as much attention as other medical conditions it affects the life of more than 10 million Americans. Having this chronic pain sometimes makes people who suffer from TMJ think there isn’t a cure or treatment for TMD. The truth is that TMJ pain cure exists and not only gets you relief from the pain but also it treats the causes of pain.

TMJ Pain Relief


What causes TMD?

There are a lot of factors that can cause TMJ disease. However sometimes in order to suffer from TMD more than one factor is needed. The main causes for TMD include:

  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • Habits like biting nails, chewing all day
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Malocclusion
    If you want to know more about TMD causes read our earlier article: Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

Since temporomandibular disease might be caused by several factors collaborating together the TMD symptoms can be very different from one person to another and sometimes making it difficult to diagnose. The most common TMD symptoms might include:

  • Headache
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Ear Problems
  • Locked Jaw
  • Jaw pain
  • Clicking, popping or grinding sounds
    You can learn more at: TMJ Symptoms
TMJ Relief


TMJ pain relief

Over the counter pain medication can always help with TMJ pain. They can give you temporary relief for less severe pain but they can’t solve your problem. You can’t use painkillers forever, you will need a permanent solution for TMJ.
Sometimes doctors prescribe also muscle relaxants or corticosteroids to reduce pain but they also can’t be used indeterminately.
TMJ exercise can help you getting relief but you have to know the proper way of doing them, because if you are doing it in the wrong way you might damage the inflamed TMJ furthermore. Here we have a suggestion for you. TMJ No More manual. This system will show you how to permanently cure TMJ disorder and teeth grinding in just 2 month time. A former TMJ sufferer, medical researcher and health consultant will teach you a simple system for how to:

  1. Get relief from pain in less than 12 hours
  2. Cure TMD in 2 months
  3. Stop the chronic pain and prevent it from coming back
  4. Learn what foods will help and what foods will not
  5. Change lifestyle and eliminate bad habits
  6. improve the quality of your life

You will learn how to get rid of TMJ pain forever and prevent it from coming back without the need to use pain killer drugs and without risky surgical procedures.
The author suffered for different years from TMD. She couldn’t find solution anywhere. And after a lot of research with other specialist they created this manual. After they find out the system was working they tried it in a group of people who had TMJ pain. The following benefits are the one the participants of the experiment described:

  • TMJ condition became manageable very quickly, the pain in the mouth, jaw, neck started to diminish rapidly.
  • The feeling of agitation and tiredness disappeared in a matter of days
  • Their social lives begin to improve and so did their work productivity.
  • They felt happier and more energetic as a consequence felt even younger and more vibrant.

If you are already tired of these continues suffering and want to ban the pain once and for all then the TMJ No More system (click here) might be the right option for you. The truth is that life is difficult as it is, adding constant pain and stress makes it unbearable. If you don’t want to receive surgery or have secondary effect due to excessive uses of drugs these manual can help you with some simple steps. You will learn: what are the causes of pain and the causes of the constant night grinding. You will learn the basic exercise to reestablish jaw function and get relief from all symptoms. You will also learn what foods you should and shouldn’t eat.


TMJ Exercises

As we said earlier in other articles Temporomandibular Joint problems can be frustrating. They are accompanied with headaches, pain of the joint when opening or closing the mouth, neck pain etc. Since the TMJ joint is a complicated jaw the source of the problem differs from one person to another. This means that even the treatments differ from one person to another, and also the time of the treatment differs from person to person.

TMJ exercises

TMJ disease can be caused by different conditions and one of the most common causes is the tension of the muscles due to their imbalance. Stress causes teeth clenching and grinding which increases the tension of the muscles causing pain. The easier remedies for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder are TMJ exercises. There are different types of exercises and some are so simple that can be done at home and may relief your pain in a couple of days.

The TMJ exercises not only will help you with the symptoms and the discomfort but they might also resolve the muscular tension that is causing the Temporomandibular Disease. All you need is determination and patience. TMJ physical therapy will e serve several purposes like strengthen masticator muscles, loosen the tension of the masticator muscles, eliminate the clicking and popping of the jaw and the most important thing they eliminate the pain and symptoms of TMD.

First of all remember that the most important thing to do to stop jaw pain is the adequate rest of the joint; this means eating soft foods like soup, boiled vegetables, pasta etc. Do not chew gums all day long and avoid opening your mouth wide for different reasons like yawning.

If you are feeling acute pain you should take a wood stick like the one used in ice-creams or a pencil and keep it between your front teeth like you are trying to cut it in half until the pain reduces. This helps relaxing the masticator muscles stopping the pain. Then try out at home these exercises we are giving.

TMJ Stretches – The best TMJ exercises you can do are the stretching exercise to help you relive the tension of the muscles. Before you start any physical therapy you need to heat up your joint and the muscles by using a warm wet cloth, or by using a HEAT PAD that are even simpler to use. These heat pads have a metal coin that you have to press and they start to heat up. While you heat up the joint you should move your lower jaw from side to side, also open and close your mouth.

After a couple of minutes start with the stretching exercise.

  • Put your index finger on your lower anterior teeth and push down stretching the muscles until they feel tight and hold it for 6 seconds or even 10 if you can. Remember to hold the warm cloth or heat pad on the joint.
  • The second exercise is to take a ruler, put it on your mouth and measure how much you open your mouth. You should open it to 40-45 mm or more if you can.
  • After you have finished all that take an ice cube and put it to your joint, careful not over your muscles or face but directly on the joint and keep it for 5-10 seconds.

These TMJ stretches will reduce the pain and discomfort in a couple of days and you should start to open your mouth without problems. If the pain persists, you still can’t open your mouth for at least 40-45 mm or if you feel pain while exercising than stop and you really need to go to a dentist, because maybe you need a more invasive therapy.

TMJ exercises – This exercises intent to strengthen the jaw muscles so you will have less popping or clicking and will prevent any locking of the jaw in the future, stabilizing your jaw.

TMJ-ExercisesStarting from the right side with two right fingers push the jaw to the left. Put your fingers near the chin and push but don’t let the jaw move. It should last for 5 seconds.





TMJ-ExercisesRepeat the same thing from the left side.






TMJ-ExercisesPut your thumb down your chin and push your jaw like you want to close it but at the same time press your jaw against your thumb. Do this exercise for 5 seconds.






TMJ-ExercisesPut your thumb on the anterior part of the chin and push it as you want to push the jaw back on your ear. The same thing here put pressure on both thumb and jaw against each other for 5 seconds





Neck Stretch – Stand up straight, extend your head back like you are looking at the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your throat. Then the opposite dropping your head forward like looking at the floor feeling a little stretch on the back of the neck. The same here hold for 5 seconds.

Temporal massage – Massage the area of your temples with three fingers with rotating movements for about 10 seconds. The same massage try on the jaw, putting your fingers below and in front of your ear. This movement massages the masseter muscles that are the one that gets most of the pressure.

You should do these exercises one time, once a day in the first week and twice around, once a day for the second and third week. Then the fourth and fifth week do these exercises twice around twice a day. The best timing would be in the mornings and before going to bed.

All these exercises will help you get some relief from TMD Pain, but we cant say that all people are the same. So we cant really say how much time is needed to stop the pain or if it will stop forever. So if the TMJ symptoms persist you should go to a doctor because maybe your TMJ Disorder can have other causes than tension of the mastication muscles and might need a different TMJ treatment.

TMJ Treatment

In USA ¼ of people show signs of e temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Most of the time the symptoms disappear on their own without the need for professional treatment, because of the great capacity of the joint to adapt in different conditions. Only 5-10 % of people with TMD symptoms need treatment.

The majority of people with TMJ disorder are woman and that is explained by the laxity of their tissues. They represent 90% of the patients who seek help. Most of the time TMD treatments are simple and can be done at home as long as you follow correctly your dentist advices. Only rarely severe cases may need invasive treatments with splints, surgery etc.

TMJ Treatment

Self-care measures

The most important measure when you are experiencing TMD symptoms is resting the jaw. Stop bad habits like keeping objects in your mouth most of the time, or even chewing gums all day. Do not stay in difficult positions when studying or sleeping, like pressing in the jaw. Use soft foods like fish, soup, well cooked vegetables etc, and avoid any hard foods for some time.
Massage your muscles as directed by your doctor might help relieving the discomfort, also some exercise might help.
Also applying heat or ice bags on the side of the jaw that you feel discomfort can help relaxing the muscles and so help you feel better.
You can take over the counter pain killers to stop the pain, but careful if the pain persist for more than 2 weeks you should talk about it with your dentist and he can choose another suitable therapy for you.

Painkillers. If the usual painkillers, over the counter medications aren’t helping you to stop the pain, your dentist may prescribe stronger painkillers.

Antianxiety medications. A low dose of tricyclic anti depressant like amitriptyline taken at bed time help stop top the pain.

Muscle relaxants. Can be use for a few days to relieve the pain of TMD. Managing stress with massages, yoga or counseling are also helpful to reduce the pain.

Corticosteroids. If you are experiencing severe pain and TMJ inflammation, these drugs can be injected directly in the joint space to stop pain.

Botulinum toxin. Injecting it ( Botox) into the jaw muscles may relieve the pain.

Bite guard or splints. Grinding and clenching your teeth can stress you muscles and a bite guard can help reduce the stress. Bite guard are designed to keep your jaw in a more relaxed position, preventing also clenching and grinding your teeth. They prevent the usury of the teeth’s occlusal surfaces that if happens will enhance your pain. There are different types of mouth guard and only your doctor can decide what is best for you. Some of them fit the upper teeth, some the lower teeth. The latest types fit only the first teeth and they function just by separating the back teeth, so the muscles used for mastication can relax.

Cognitive behavioral therapy. If you poorly manage stress or anxiety your doctor may refer you to a psychotherapist so you can change bad behaviors, manage stress and anxiety a learn relaxation technique.

Occlusal Equilibration. If your TMJ symptoms are not caused by structural disorder but from interferences on your teeth due to incongruous restorations, crowns or dental bridges, your dentist will rebuild them in the correct way. It involves reshaping of the biting surfaces and the alignment of the teeth, but if done by not experience dentist it may worsen your symptoms.

Surgical procedure. Are absolutely the last resort. They are performed under general or local anesthesia depending on the type of surgery.
1. Arthrocentesis. Is a minor surgical procedure, done by inserting a needle into the affected joint space by the ear, than sterile solutions like steroids, lubrificants or other medications are irrigated to remove debridis and inflammatory byproducts.
2. Arthroscopy. This is a more invasive procedure. The surgeon makes an incision at the temple in front of the ear to reach an endoscope into the surrounding area. It makes it possible for the surgeon to see the area and so he can remove any adhesion, reposition the disk or treat an inflammation.
3. Open-joint surgery. It is used in case of severe problems of the TMJs like tumors, chipped bones, severe scarring etc.

Home Page: TMJ Symptoms