View Full Version : Night time tooth grinders - getting desperate - help!

Apr. 7, 2012, 11:18 PM
I've been told by dentists I'm one of the worst tooth grinders they ever saw - it happens at night, sometimes I even wake myself up with the sound of it.

I tried one guard they gave me, hated it, couldn't sleep, & decided who cares if I grind my teeth at night.

Only then I found out, all the expensive dental work I was having done, was throwing money away - after ruining several thousands of dental work, I decided, oh well, who cares if I just grind my teeth down to nubs, I just won't have anymore expensive work done.

Alas, I have come to a crisis - several of my teeth have been ground to have such sharp edges, that it is a common, almost weekly thing for me to lacerate my tongue or gums! This is no fun!!! I'm coming to seriously appreciate why horses need floating!

I'm finally taking the problem seriously BUT

I do need more expensive work, several crowns, sigh. I have dental insurance that will pay 50% but even so - I either have to find a way to protect the work, or it seems a waste of big $! Should I accept I'm going to just have them all pulled & wear dentures before I reach 50? :eek:

So... anyone out there, have experience with the various night mouth guards out there, for someone who's had trouble adapting to sleeping with one, best options? Or ways to get myself to accept sleeping with one in my mouth?

I tried a semi-custom one years ago from dentist, absolutely hated it. Was told full custom one would be better, but that is $$$$. Hate to waste $ if I may not wear it... See a lot of OTC ones for sale... do I try some of those, or accept the cost of a full custom one and pray I can make myself wear it?

I'm tired of having painful fresh cuts on my tongue & gums!

And started to realize it may be a good idea to protect the teeth I have left long as I can...:D

Apr. 7, 2012, 11:26 PM
One of the theories behind the grinding is the stress of not being able to breathe properly and getting enough O2 when sleeping. It is a precusor to sleep apnea. Try a sleep study in addition to your dental work. Another is to be evaluate for temporamandibular disorder. Again stress issues.

Believe me on the dental provider side this is just as frustrating to us as providers as it is to you the patient.

Apr. 7, 2012, 11:30 PM
I'm on my third custom made night splint. Couldn't live without it! It was very difficult for me to get used to the first one, but it was soft, and I just chewed on it all night (and dreamed that I was chewing gum all the time). I now have a hard splint which I think was easier to get used to. At first I hated the idea, but it has provided much needed relief for me. Definitely try a hard one. Good luck!!

Apr. 7, 2012, 11:43 PM
I got mine from here http://www.sparklingwhitesmiles.com/?gclid=CILt_JudpK8CFYURNAod6l6BYg

There is some trial and error to find the type that works best for you. I love the soft one that fits on my lower teeth. Too thick and it gives me a jaw ache. On the top and I find I play with it with my tongue. If the one you chose doesn't work for you, you can get your money back and try a different kind.

Apr. 7, 2012, 11:48 PM
I have a custom hard guard up top. Mine has lasted forever and makes a HUGE differences in my grinding and TMJ pain.

It took a few days or maybe a week to get used to it but having teeth was more important than sleep to me. My body quickly adjusted and now I have a hard time sleeping without it.

I think a full custom guard is totally worth it.

Apr. 8, 2012, 03:22 AM
How about a "deprogrammer"? Anyone tried one of those? I have been advised to get one of these to figure out how to fix my bite. It's a $200, temporary version of the night guard. Worth the money?

Apr. 8, 2012, 11:15 AM
I have a custom hard guard also. Took about a week to get use to it. Well worth the breaking in period. I have a lot less dental bills, a LOT less headaches and better sleep. It was expensive, but insurance did cover 1/2.

Apr. 8, 2012, 11:38 AM
I am a long-time tooth grinder. I never realized it until my lower teeth started chipping for "no reason." When I asked the dentist about it he asked if I wake up with headaches or a sore jaw which I did. He offered a custom guard but first told me to try the OTC versions since they are cheaper.

I use a Dentek. Mine usually last about 6 months before I chew through them. I figured out after trial and error how I need to fit them to be most comfortable for me. I tried the Sleep Right and hated it. I felt like it was going to move and I would choke on it.

I got used to wearing the Dentek relatively quickly and I'd rather wear one than lose my teeth. I often dream about eating, too! Sometimes I dream about my jaw being clamped shut and I can't breathe so I don't know if that's more of a jaw clenching thing or sleep apnea.

I also realize I clench my jaw when riding or doing focused tasks. (Sometimes my jaw gets really tired at a horse show.) Not sure what I can do about that....

Apr. 8, 2012, 11:43 AM
I also have a custom guard from Bite Soft. It was about $600, but as I absolutely LOATHE going to the dentist and had cracks in my molars from grinding my teeth, I figured this was well worth it if it kept me out of the freaking dentist's office. It's also made a difference in the frequency of headaches I was having.

My guard fits over the six front teeth on the top and has a "stopper" behind those that keeps you from lining your jaws up. It didn't take me long to get used to and was SO much better than the darn OTC ones, which I could never get to fit properly and stay put.

Apr. 8, 2012, 12:10 PM
Couldn't wear the fancy permanent one that went on my upper teeth but I can wear the temporary soft one on my lower teeth. Have you tried something that goes on your lower teeth? I figured the idea was just to keep my upper teeth from grinding on my lower ones, so that should work just as well..

PS: I took scissors to it and made a few alterations so it would be more comfortable, but it still serves its purpose.

Apr. 8, 2012, 04:34 PM
Thanks so much guys, this is just what I needed - lot's of options to explore. I've already given up on and had 3 molars pulled, and I'm finally starting to realize how valuable teeth are.

One new question, what can be done with the two front teeth now that I've worn the insides half way down the tooth? - the top part on both is sharp as a razor & I fear, fragile enough to break.

My vanity is coming into play, I can miss molars, but not front teeth! Am I looking at crowns or can they fill in the missing back part to make them strong again? I know it is a dentist question - and now that I have some hope I can protect future work I will be making an appointment - but wondered if anyone knew what could be done...

Definitely makes me more interested in ensuring good regular floating for my horses -I have to be very careful eating not to cut my mouth or tongue, if I do it is days of pain - can't imagine a poor horse with such cuts trying to deal with a bit too! :no:

Apr. 8, 2012, 04:37 PM
Did you post recently elsewhere about this or are we having lots of tooth grinding in the world now? LOL

I am really bad too. To the point that my dentist even offered to do a new bruxism guard for free if I promise to wear it. I had a soft one that I liked and tolerated well but I would grind through it quickly. So they did a hard one and I hate it. Now we're going to do a thinner one and see how that works.

At this point, while the hard one fits well and all, it limits my movement to the point that it's distracting and even if I fall asleep I'm taking it out in the night subconsciously.

I've done pretty significant damage to a lot of my teeth as a result.

Come Shine
Apr. 8, 2012, 04:45 PM
Maybe ask your dentist about amitriptyline. It can be really helpful for severe tooth grinding at night.

Apr. 8, 2012, 04:51 PM
Did you post recently elsewhere about this or are we having lots of tooth grinding in the world now? LOL

Well I started this post yesterday - I can't swear I didn't ask about this before, my remaining brain cells seem to be at overcapacity :D

But the lacerating my tongue & gums at night is a new thing, started last month.:no:

Apr. 8, 2012, 04:57 PM
I have a custom guard, must be at least 10 years old. I wear it religiously and like another poster here, feel strange going to sleep without it. I never had anything near the kind of problems you're having-- I would definitely make the investment!

Apr. 8, 2012, 05:07 PM
DH teases about putting my teeth in but I cannot sleep without my mouth guard. Mine was custom fitted by my dentist for around 800.00 I think.

Apr. 8, 2012, 05:29 PM
One of my friends grinds his teeth so much that it wakes me up at night and then I can't fall asleep again. It's so awful and I don't know why he doesn't just go get a stupid mouth guard so that his headaches and jaw pain go away.

I would definitely go for a custom mouth guard if I were you. The OTC ones just don't cut it. It's worth the money.

Apr. 8, 2012, 08:59 PM
I'll be interested in the suggestions you get too. I grind my teeth and they are pretty worn down, though I'm not having problems yet. I did get a custom guard from the dentist because I had money left over that I had to spend in my FSA or loose it. I hate it and cannot sleep with it, the dentist promised me that I'd get used to it in a couple of days and then wouldn't want to sleep without it. Not happening, I tried for two weeks and was getting too tired from waking up multiple times a night and not being able to get back to sleep. It fits, supposedly, I went back to check fit, just in case that was it, nope.

Apr. 8, 2012, 09:18 PM
I had a custom nightguard from my dentist (upper) that I LOVED until my dog somehow got it off the night table one morning and chewed it to pieces. I almost cried. :no: Not only did I have to go to the drugstore to get some stupid little rubber kind I thought I was choking on all night, but that guard was expensive (like $900 counting the impressions).

I now have a lower custom guard that I don't like as much - the dentist needed new impressions if I wanted an upper and I hate doing the goo gag impression thing, so he made me a lower off my old impressions. Since getting the new lower one, I have sleepwalking episodes where I wake up "choking" on my mouthguard, and tend to spit it out quite often. Next cleaning I'm asking for new impressions and getting another upper guard made. I can't sleep without them, upper OR lower. They have made a tremendous difference!

Apr. 8, 2012, 11:17 PM
I have a custom, soft, upper guard - LOVE it!
Got it from the dentist and it cost $100.

I has REALLY helped with my TMJ pain and near constant headaches!!

I adjusted no problem at all - I think b/c I wore braces and a retainer as a teen. Now, I feel weird if I try to sleep withOUT it!

I thought I would HATE it b/c I always hated the mouth guards for soccer, but it was no problem at all.

Apr. 8, 2012, 11:45 PM
I feel your pain! Cant offer much more than my story of fixing the damage.

Unfortunately I have been a serious grinder since childhood. Wore a custom splint at night for about 8 years before my dentist decided that the damage to my teeth had gotten so bad that (at 22) I was looking at serious intervention or losing my teeth :eek:

For the last year I have worn a (extremely) custom splint 24/7. It's big, it's gawky, but it's a small sacrifice for keeping my teeth! I have also been undergoing major dental repair (about $4000 into it right now) with around $7000 remaining to completely rebuild my teeth. And I have no dental or health insurance :( They are too broken and sharp and cupped and all have dentin exposed. Then...I don't quite know. I think I may still have to wear a splint 24/7 to protect all the crazy expensive repair work!

Good luck! Make sure you 1. Do not avoid the dentist and 2. Are not afraid of emphasizing the importance of properly addressing this problem. Make a stink if you must because once they're gone they aren't coming Back !:no:

Apr. 9, 2012, 01:03 AM
I have a custom hard mouth tanner fitted for my bottom teeth. It's a bit bulky and for the number of adjustments that need done over a period anywhere from 6-12 months. It's completely worth saving all this dental work.

Apr. 9, 2012, 09:10 AM
I grind too... I have a CVS night-guard that I use occasionally... Thinking about looking into hypnotherapy or acupuncture... I have heard some people get great results.

Apr. 9, 2012, 10:27 AM
My nightguard was custom fitted from the site I linked and only cost $60. They refund your money or put it towards a different style if you don't like it. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to get relief. I wish I had gotten mine about a decade sooner so my teeth weren't little nubs like now but at least I am preserving what little I have left.