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  • Dental mouthguards

    I get my dental care at the local dental school. Up until now, I’ve been fairly happy with them, as I feel they usually don’t overtreat me. At my last visit, however, they said they saw signs I grind my teeth at night and recommended I wear a custom guard at night so I don’t grind my teeth down over time. It would cost like $300 and would probably have to be replaced after a few years, assuming I do not just lose it first. The dentist/professor says the treatment is definitive and if you grind your teeth down over time you don’t get them back.

    I’m fairly skeptical of this, considering I’m pushing 40, am hearing of this for the first time, have no awareness of it, and my SO has never noticed it either. I bought a cheap mouthguard on Amazon for about $17 and didn’t tolerate it that well. I could fall asleep with it usually, but it just falls out during the night, and usually I just end up placing it on the nightstand when I’m half awake in the middle of the night.

    So I guess I’m wondering if anyone can comment from the experience of a patient or a professional about how big of a deal this is and whether it’s worth it. If I thought this would really help me I’d probably fork over the $300, but then there’s the issue of tolerating it and not leaving it in the bathroom of a hotel.

    Also, I’m not starting this to bash dentists, just looking for unbiased advice if anyone can provide it.

  • #2
    Not a dentist, but I have had a mouth guard I wear at night basically since I got married. My wife noticed pretty much right away that I ground my teeth at night. She was probably more aware of it than most since she was/is a dental hygienist. I had my original one for about 17 years until one day I accidentally dropped it on the floor of my bathroom and it came apart at one of the seams. I had a new one made at my current dentist’s office and it was completely covered by insurance.

    It’s low profile and fits very well—almost suctions onto my teeth. I have worn sports mouth guards before and it doesn’t even compare. It took me a few weeks of sleeping with it to get used to it, but now I have a difficult time sleeping without it. I take it in every 4 months when I’m getting my cleaning and exam, and they put it in their ultrasonic cleaner and I take it home with me.

    You only get one set of teeth.
    Last edited by MaxPower; 03-16-2022, 12:29 PM.

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    • #3
      My wife grinds her teeth at night. Her dentist noted it during a routine exam commented on it and I collaborated the story. She tried the cheap mouth guards and they did not work.

      Custom made dental guards work very well and she has had no further erosion of her teeth. $300 is small sum as far as dental costs are concerned. Get it.

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      • #4
        I’m glad you guys can tell me they work. I’m just still questioning whether I need it since it’s the first I’m hearing about it at my age (and no one has heard me grind my teeth). I guess I’ll take a wait and see approach. Maybe if others can corroborate I need it I’ll get one.

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        • #5
          If your jaw doesn't hurt when you wake up and your wife doesn't smother you in your sleep, you don't need it.

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          • #6
            I was told I needed one and was skeptical. I put it off and my teeth started cracking and I ended up with several crowns. I would get it. That is a good price.

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            • #7
              I would get it. Your partner may not notice the grinding. I'm very bad with teeth grinding and I have TMJ and my husband has never once said I grind my teeth. I have a custom mouth guard that I need to use more consistently as it really does help. My jaw is way less sore the nights I wear it. It definitely won't fall out either.

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              • #8
                Thanks all for the feedback.

                I went back today for a filling. One of the good and bad things is I see a different set of students every time, and the one I had today made a similar observation so I guess they’re not making it up.

                The good news is I still have some old whitening trays customized to fit my teeth I can try using that I think will work better than the bulky mouthguards I bought on Amazon. I’ll give those a shot.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                  Thanks all for the feedback.

                  I went back today for a filling. One of the good and bad things is I see a different set of students every time, and the one I had today made a similar observation so I guess they’re not making it up.

                  The good news is I still have some old whitening trays customized to fit my teeth I can try using that I think will work better than the bulky mouthguards I bought on Amazon. I’ll give those a shot.
                  Or they all got the same lunch from the mouth guard people!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                    I’m just still questioning whether I need it since it’s the first I’m hearing about it at my age (and no one has heard me grind my teeth). Maybe if others can corroborate I need it I’ll get one.
                    I didn't know that I was grinding my teeth while sleeping until I was about 45 and woke up with a chipped tooth, the remainder still loose in my mouth. I've been using the same mouthguard now for about 17 years. Three hundred bucks is trivial.
                    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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                    • #11
                      More importantly than the $300… is it annoying to wear while trying to sleep?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dusn View Post
                        More importantly than the $300… is it annoying to wear while trying to sleep?
                        I don’t know if they have changed in recent years but the $300 one I got from my dentist was thick, bulky and stuck to my teeth so tight it felt like they were going to be dislodged from the suction when I removed the apparatus. It’s interesting to read so many feel they are comfortable and helpful. Maybe I should try again.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dusn View Post
                          More importantly than the $300… is it annoying to wear while trying to sleep?
                          I think assuming it stays in place it’s like wearing a retainer after you get your braces off. Aside from the cost, what I like least about it is having to add something else to my nighttime routine and having one extra piece of crap to carry around when I travel (presumably for the rest of my life).

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                          • #14
                            I prefer my gold crowns. All molars done and proceeding to my incisors. A bit of an image thing for me.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by StateOfMyHead View Post

                              I don’t know if they have changed in recent years but the $300 one I got from my dentist was thick, bulky and stuck to my teeth so tight it felt like they were going to be dislodged from the suction when I removed the apparatus. It’s interesting to read so many feel they are comfortable and helpful. Maybe I should try again.
                              My first mouthguard was too thin/weak and I cracked it while sleeping.

                              After wearing the same mouthguard for about 13 years, my dentist said he could provide an improvement, but I didn't like his at all, so I put it aside and returned to the old one.

                              You might have to try several iterations.
                              Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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