What is the Difference Between Nightguard and Mouthguard?

Dec 02, 2021

Millions of teeth are lost or damaged because of direct impact during sporting events or teeth clenching. The American Dental Association reports that people who wear protective gear like mouthguards are less likely to develop mouth and teeth injuries.

Mouthguards are protective appliances that shield the teeth from injuries. However, these devices come in different types, and you cannot rely on only one design mouthguard.

There are different types of mouthguards like the boil-and-bite and stock mouthguards. These mouth protectors are used for general use. If you are suffering from teeth grinding and clenching, the custom-fitted guards, specifically nightguards in Auburn, AL, are your best bet.

Most people tend to assume that all mouthguards are similar. But, that is not the case. They all differ in design and purpose.

What are Nightguards?

Nightguards are mouthpieces worn during sleep to protect teeth and prevent chipping and fracturing. They are somewhat like a type of mouthguard.

Several studies have shown that nightguards can also help prevent snoring, tooth decay, and gingivitis by providing a barrier between the tongue and lower teeth.

Nightguards may also reduce plaque accumulation around the gum line and reduce the risk of oral cancer.

How do Nightguards Differ from Mouthguards?

There are specific differences between the two types of mouthguards, and it is important to know them before you visit a dentist near you for one.

  1. Design

Mouthguards is an umbrella term referring to the devices worn over the teeth to protect them. However, they are available in different types— the stock and boil-and-bite. Both of these can be bought from your local drug store. They are also not customized; the stock mouth protectors come in three sizes, while the boil-and-bite guards come in one-size-fits-all.

The nightguards are customized to fit your specific dental structure. They come in a horseshoe design that puts a barrier between the teeth to keep them from grinding on each other.

  1. Purpose

The three types of mouth protectors are designed to address a specific issue. The stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards are used to protect the teeth from direct impact during sporting activities.

Mouthguards can also be used to address snoring and sleep apnea. They work by keeping the tongue forward to keep the airway open.

The nightguards are designed to address bruxism.

Bruxism is teeth clenching and grinding that can cause the teeth to wear out. Teeth grinding can also cause jaw problems like TMJ.

Visit a dental office in Auburn for your customized nightguards to reduce the grinding effects on the teeth.

Can You Use Mouthguards at Night and Vice Versa?

No, these mouthguards are not interchangeable. Using an Occlusal Guard (Night Guard) at night helps protect your teeth from damage caused by clenching & grinding. A night guard is made of plastic and designed with a horseshoe shape to fit over your teeth. It prevents grinding or clenching by creating a barrier that the teeth bite against. Our dentist in Auburn recommends your wear the guards are worn at night because that is when teeth clenching occurs. It is also hard to control teeth grinding at night hence the need for mouth protectors.

It is not recommended that you wear the day mouthguards at night.

This is because it can lead to:

  • It can lead to plaque buildup

A mouthguard covers your teeth and gums from blunt force injury. Unfortunately, it also traps bacteria against the surface of your gums while you sleep, which could lead to bacterial growth.

It’s fine to wear the mouthguard for an hour or two, but you should not sleep with it. That’s why it is recommended you wear the protectors for sports or practice, but not while sleeping.

A night guard is a dental appliance worn while sleeping. It covers only the biting surfaces of your teeth and prevents them from damaging each other while you sleep. Some designs can have holes that allow saliva to flow, which prevents decay.

  • The sports mouthguards do not protect against bruxism.

These mouthguards are made out of thick material designed to absorb impact during sporting activities. But, they are not crafted to handle the pressure of the teeth grinding. Furthermore, the sports guards can change your bite over time if worn for a long and hence not ideal for nightwear.

The Sports mouth guards out of thick material to absorb the shock of impact.

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Visit Central Park Dental Care for more information about nightguards and how they work.

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