Temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, conditions and disorders can cause lots of pain in the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull, as well as the muscles that control your jaw movement. If you are experiencing any pain in your jaw, you might need a night guard for TMJ. Night guards can help protect your teeth, mouth and jaw from a number of conditions, including TMJ, teeth grinding and clenching while you are sleeping.
It can be difficult to choose a night guard for TMJ, since there are so many options on the market.
Night guards can help shield and cushion your teeth, so that the damage is minimal when you grind your teeth. Night guards can also absorb some of the force when your teeth rub together, which helps reduce some of the tension in your jaw and decrease TMJ pain.
If you have TMJ pain, regular dull headaches and tooth sensitivity, particularly when you wake up in the morning, you are probably grinding your teeth during sleep and need to start wearing a night guard. If you experience TMJ pain of any kind, you probably need a night guard as well.
One of the biggest benefits of wearing a night guard is that it can help protect your teeth from the damage and pain that happens with chronic grinding and clenching, including damage to your bridges, crowns and fillings, and loose or chipped teeth.
Night guards can also help improve your sleep, because they allow your jaw muscles to relax so you can sleep more deeply and comfortably. The night guard will also absorb some of the force from grinding your teeth, so you are less likely to experience TMJ pain, headaches and tooth sensitivity.
There are a few different kinds of night guard materials out there, including hard night guards, hybrid/dual night guards and soft night guards. Soft night guards are made of flexible rubber material, while hybrid night guards have a soft rubber interior with a hard acrylic outer layer. Hard night guards are made of a hard acrylic material and are best for those with severe TMJ pain or grinding issues.
Night guards for TMJ pain usually range in thickness from 1 to 3 millimeters, but there are fewer options available with over-the-counter night guards.
There are several different fit types of night guards, including stock or one-size-fits-all night guards, moldable night guards, at-home custom night guards and dental-made custom night guards.
Night guards for TMJ can range in price depending on how many pieces or guards are included, how thick the night guards are and their custom fit. You can expect to spend anywhere between $10-$700 for a night guard for TMJ. Custom night guards from a dentist’s office typically cost between $300-$700, while basic night guards cost $10-$15.
A. The lifespan of a night guard for TMJ varies depending on how severe your TMJ or teeth grinding is and how thick the night guard is. Custom-fit and thick night guard models can last up to 7 years, while soft and thin night guards can start to wear down after about 6 months.
It’s important to check your night guard for TMJ on a regular basis for signs of damage. You should also have your dentist check the night guard from time to time to make sure it is still in good shape.
A. There are many soft and non-custom night guards on the market that are trimmable. You can simply use a pair of scissors to cut your night guard for TMJ, so that it fits more comfortably in your mouth. That being said, not all night guards for TMJ can be trimmed, so make sure to read the instructions from the manufacturer to figure out if you are able to trim the night guard.
A. A night guard can work as TMJ relief or grinding protection even if you are missing teeth, but you are probably better off selecting a custom-fit night guard if you are missing teeth. Custom-fit night guards are designed to the particular contours of your mouth, so they will fit more snugly and comfortably.
What you need to know: This professionally molded night guard from Encore Guards is an excellent option if you need a true custom fit.
What you’ll love: This Encore Guards night guard features four different guards to choose from, including a daytime hard, a dual-layer, a soft option and a hard option. The kit also comes with dental impression trays, putty and a prepaid return mailer to send in your mold.
What you should consider: Keep in mind that this night guard comes with a hefty price tag.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This three-pack of night guards from Pro-Dental is the most affordable option and comes with great customer service.
What you’ll love: This budget-friendly ProDental three-pack of customizable night guards is easy to trim and mold if needed. The simple and solid night guard also comes with helpful customer support and service.
What you should consider: This night guard runs on the large side, so you might need to shape or trim it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: If you want an effective night guard for TMJ relief without an expensive visit to the dentist, this night guard from Sova is the perfect option for you.
What you’ll love: This Sova Night Guard dental mouth guard can be molded up to 20 times and effectively absorbs the bite impact. The night guard also features an anti-bacterial storage case and a breathable design that allows you to drink while wearing it.
What you should consider: This night guard is stiffer than some of its competitors, and it might be too uncomfortable for many people.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.