Occlusal guard

An occlusal guard is often called a night guard or a bruxism guard. It protects against bruxism, which is the clenching or grinding of the teeth that happens primarily at night. Because the jaw puts an extreme amount of pressure per square inch on the teeth, grinding and clenching the jaw at night can result in damage to the teeth and painful symptoms of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Occlusal guards can be custom-made by a dentist to fit a patient’s mouth exactly, or they can be purchased over the counter. While over-the-counter occlusal guards are less expensive than custom-crafted, they can have a negative impact on oral health if not used properly. Custom-fitted occlusal guards provide patients with better bruxism relief without the discomfort of ill-fitting plastic or metal parts that are one-size-fits-all. Occlusal guards can prevent jaw strain, fatigue, pain, and the chipping or breaking of teeth.