Why do I need a nightguard if I know I don’t clench or grind my teeth at night?

March 27, 2019
Posted By: Christopher Wahlers

I enjoy seeing my patients, when they have just finished an extensive amount of dental work,take pride in their new smile.  Implants, crowns or veneers can have amazing results, either by enhancing a smile, or restoring teeth that were lost for various reasons.  What patients often do not realize though, is that their beautiful new teeth should be protected.  For patients who have just received extensive dental work, a nightguard can often be a wonderful, easy, and inexpensive way to protect your dental investment.  A nightguard is made in our office and is designed to wear during sleep, to protect teeth from grinding or clenching which can lead to cracked porcelain, or damaged implants.

Many patients tell me that they don’t clench or grind their teeth during sleep.  That may or may not be true.  When my son was young, he used to tell me with conviction that he did not close his eyes when he slept.  I eventually realized that I could not convince him otherwise (even though I had proof).  However, this made me realize that asking patients whether they clenched their teeth during sleep was a useless question.  Clenching (and even most grinding) produces no sound, so a sleeping spouse or significant other often would not notice, especially if they were also asleep.  Other patients feel that if they snore, their mouths are open, so they cannot possibly clench or grind.  The truth is that people do not snore 100% of the time that they are asleep, contrary to what my wife may tell you.  To prove a point, try to swallow (comfortably) with your mouth wide open.  Everyone swallows periodically throughout the night.  Everyone’s teeth are together for a least a portion of the night.

Extensive dental work often costs thousands of dollars and many hours in the dental office.  A nightguard is an easy way to protect your investment.  If you are not sure if a nightguard could help you protect your teeth, ask me at your next appointment.  

--Christopher Wahlers

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