A great many people grind their teeth in their sleep. This is often worse when someone feels tense or stressed. Often tooth-grinding causes no particular problems for the patient; however, it can contribute to aching jaw joints and headaches. If severe it can also cause teeth to become very worn down and even to break. A night bite guard is an appliance that is worn at night and just props the teeth open slightly. This has two main benefits – firstly it prevents the patient from grinding their teeth and can help alleviate symptoms, and secondly it can help to break or reduce the grinding habit.
Mouthguards should be worn when taking part in most sports, but especially perhaps rugby, hockey and horse riding, as the best insurance against accidentally broken teeth. They are custom made for each individual, and fitted by the dentist. Bring your mouthguard to each examination so that its effectiveness can be checked.