Oral Appliances: Mouthguards, Nightguards, Splints, Bite guards, TMJ Guards
What is a bite guard, mouthguard or night guard? Are TMJ guards different?
Oral appliances, such as bite guards and night guards, are custom-made protective devices for the mouth that are worn to protect teeth from wear due to teeth grinding (bruxism) or teeth clenching. On the other hand, TMJ guards (aka orthopedic appliances or occlusal orthotics) provide the additional benefit of jaw muscle and jaw joint (TMJ) protection. They can relieve jaw soreness, joint pain, manage certain headaches, and prevent jaw locking.
Are bite guards and night guards comfortable?
To answer simply – yes! Today’s mouth and night guards are custom-made and carefully constructed using special lightweight materials designed to be very comfortable while offering advanced protection for your teeth and jaw. Every mouth and night guard that Dr. Nojan makes is tailor-made in order to fit securely, be therapeutic and provide maximum comfort.
Who should wear a special TMJ guard or occlusal orthotic?
The following people would benefit from wearing a custom-fabricated bite-guard or nightguard
· People who grind their teeth excessively
· People with jaw locking or a jaw that gets stuck
· People with chronic jaw pain, jaw soreness, or jaw stiffness
· People suffering from TMJ pain (joint pain) related to arthritis of the jaw
· People who suffer from TMJ related earaches, or TMJ related headaches
Why should I get a professionally-made night guard as opposed to one from the store/online?
Night guards that are purchased at pharmacies, online or at sporting goods stores are almost always one-size-fits all. They are not created to precisely accommodate the specific anatomy of a patient’s unique teeth shape, bite and jaw position. This can potentially be harmful and far less comfortable than one that is custom made. More importantly, use of any oral appliances requires careful monitoring by a trained clinician to prevent and minimize the risk for permanent shifts in the teeth, bite, or jaw position.
Will insurance cover the cost of a mouth guard or night guard?
Many insurance plans will cover a portion of the cost of an oral appliance that is medically-necessary, or some dental insurances will cover appliances needed to protect teeth from bruxism. In order to determine if your specific plan offers coverage, we recommend directly inquiring with your insurance plan administrator.