Dr. Afsoon Gerayli DDS.

Occlusal Guard & Night Guard

Recipient of the 2014 Los Angeles Top Rated Doctors Award

UCLA graduate and Award-winning general & Cosmetic Dentist in Los Angeles, CA.


Occlusal Guard & Night Guard

Multiple effects can happen when a person grinds their teeth. Teeth grinding (bruxism) can increase jaw pain, which can significantly affect your ability to fall asleep and cause tooth damage.

Wearing an Occlusal Guard

Teeth clenching or teeth grinding is an extremely hard habit to break and often happens while a person sleeps or during times of stress. Protecting the teeth from further structural damage can be achieved wearing an occlusal guard. An occlusal guard or night guard is a semi-circled piece of sturdy, pliable material worn over the teeth that blocks ongoing friction between your upper and lower teeth.

When Occlusal Guards Are Worn

Occlusal guards are typically worn at night when people have no control over grinding or clenching their teeth or when they're under considerable stress. Dr. Gerayli recommends that severe grinders also wear their mouth guards during the day, but this is not usually required.

Materials Occlusal Guard Are Made From

Occlusal guards can be made either from soft or hard clear acrylic depending on what Dr. Gerayli recommends. The composition of plastic breaks down over time with constant wear and tear. Since the occlusal guard is made from plastic, it may change color and even become cloudy in time. However, these physical changes don't affect the functionality of the night guard. Occlusal guards can be fashioned to be worn for the upper or lower teeth.

The Longevity of an Occlusal Guard

The longevity of an occlusal guard depends on the severity of your teeth grinding. Severe grinders may need to replace their mouth guards annually whereas other patients may not need to replace their guards for many years. If the guard still conforms well on your teeth, it will not need replacing until the acrylic loses its shape or springs holes which requires replacement of the guard. An occlusal guard works forcing your upper and lower teeth apart to prevent them from wearing. If you haven't worn your night guard in some time, your teeth may move out a little of position which may cause the occlusal to no longer fit. Take the occlusal guard to Dr. Gerayli for advice if this happens.

Properly Caring For Your Occlusal Guard

Only drink water and don't eat food when wearing your occlusal guard to avoid discoloring it. Make a practice of brushing your occlusal guard after removing it in when you rise with your toothbrush and rinse it with cold water. It is recommended not to use toothpaste to clean the surface of the occlusal guard with this product since it is too abrasive and may cause the occlusal guard to appear cloudy. Another very important step to properly care for your occlusal guard is to never clean it with hot water since this can warp its original shape and cause it to no longer fit properly on your teeth.

Custom Made Occlusal Guard Price

The cost of an occlusal guard cost will vary considerably depending on the type of material used. Yet, the investment of an occlusal guard can pay for itself long term. It can prevent you from having to undergo expensive dental work to rebuild your teeth with crowns or fillings caused by grinding.

Addressing Teeth Grinding

Frequently waking up with a dull headache, tooth pain, or a sore jaw are all symptoms related to a condition known as bruxism or teeth grinding. According to the American Dental Association, teeth grinding affects approximately 10 to 15 percent of adults. Chronic teeth grinding can cause further damage to your teeth, so don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gerayli to address this issue.

Investing in a mouth guard customized in a special laboratory tends to have a more superior fit and be made of a higher quality than one purchased over-the counter. Taking care of a night guard properly will ensure that it functions for a longer period of time to prevent the surfaces of your teeth from grinding together, from your teeth forming chips and cracks and from experiencing excessive strain to your jaw muscles.

Occlusal guards are also recommended for teenagers, who often chronically grind or clench their teeth. Homework, exams, social pressure at school or various issues at home can trigger teeth grinding, resulting in TMJ, overbites, and other major jaw and teeth issues. Investing in a customized occlusal guard recommended by Dr. Gerayli can actually prevent undergoing expensive dental work to correct tooth erosion, biting and chewing issues as well as chronic headaches from becoming a daily occurrence. Contact Victory Cosmetic Dentistry today for your free consultation.