Do you grind your teeth at night? Have you started to notice that you have sore jaws, a gritty feeling in your mouth, and some damage to your teeth? If so, then you might think that the easy solution is to get an over-the-counter night guard from the corner drug store.

This seems like an easy solution to the problem, but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t try this approach.

A pair of night guards

It Doesn’t Address the Cause

One of the most important reasons not to try an OTC night guard is that it’s not going to address the true cause of your problem. These night guards aren’t really designed as a solution–they’re just designed to try to ameliorate the symptoms.

The good news is that once you understand the true cause of your symptoms, you may realize that you don’t need a night guard at all. Instead, you need to address the true cause of your teeth grinding, whether that’s stress or a bite imbalance.

It May Not Work

OTC night guards typically advertise on one major selling point: they’re cheap. One of the reasons they’re cheap is that they may not be made of very strong materials. And you may end up grinding through them very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that you won’t see any significant benefit–and you’ll pay a lot more in the long run for the so-called cheap solution.

It May Actually make Things Worse

Your bite is an incredibly complex system, made up of teeth, bones, cartilage, nerves, muscles, and other tissues. It’s also unique to you. So the odds are pretty low that a random piece of plastic you put between your teeth can actually help your bite health. In fact, it’s more likely that these interfering pieces can lead to more bite problems than you started with.

You may actually end up moving from having a simple bite problem to a more complex case of TMJ that is straining your jaw joint and possibly displacing the cushioning disc in the joint.

It Will Keep You From Getting Real Treatment

With bite problems like teeth grinding, time is of the essence. The sooner you get treatment, the better off you’ll be. You’re less likely to need major interventions. But if you spend time getting an OTC treatment and wait to see if it works, you’re postponing real, effective treatment.

Worst of all, you might think it’s working, and all the while your real bite problem is getting worse.

Let Us Protect Your Teeth

If you are experiencing nightly problems like teeth clenching and grinding, don’t waste time and money on an ineffective and potentially harmful over-the-counter treatment. Get effective treatment from a River Edge neuromuscular dentist at the River Edge Dental, New Jersey’s center for TMJ, sleep apnea, & reconstructive dentistry. Please call (201) 343-4044 today for an appointment.