DENTAL EMERGENCY? telephone call 833-925-8326

Are you grinding your teeth or snoring excessively at night?

Grinding your teeth or snoring at night might seem harmless, but they can have harmful effects on your health. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious health condition that causes breathing to stop during sleep periodically.

Teeth grinding and/or clenching causes wear on your teeth and can lead the facial muscles to become sore and overworked. About 20% of the adult population engages in this behavior, and it is a common response to a stressful life. At Zak Dental we recommend using a Night Guard to lessen both of these problems.

Night guards are made of rigid or semi-rigid materials such as acrylic that is processed in a laboratory. Easily inserted and removed by the patient, they are generally designed to be worn over the biting surfaces of either the upper or lower teeth.

Night guards can prevent damage to teeth and dental restorations, saving you the time, expense, and potential discomfort of correcting problems caused by jaw clenching, teeth grinding, tooth wear, malocclusion, and bad habits.
They can also be used to treat patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction and pain, and people who suffer from discomfort and fatigue in the jaw and facial muscles.

It is important to understand how night guards work. This will help you decide if you are a patient who could benefit from the use of night guards.

If you live in Southern California, feel free to schedule a New Patient Visit with us in Zak Dental offices in Agoura Hills, Covina/San Dimas, Downey, Long Beach, North Park, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Simi Valley, Temecula, Valencia, Ventura, and Whittier/La Mirada, California.

Please Call us at 833-ZAK-TEAM with any additional questions you would like us to answer.

Night Guard FAQ


What is a night guard?

A night guard, also known as an occlusal guard or dental splint, is a removable dental appliance worn during sleep to protect the teeth and jaws from the effects of teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching.

Why do I need a night guard?

Night guards are recommended for individuals who grind or clench their teeth during sleep, a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism can lead to tooth wear, cracks, jaw pain, headaches, and other dental problems.

How does a night guard work?

A night guard creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. It absorbs the forces generated by clenching or grinding, protecting the teeth and reducing stress on the jaw joints.

What are the signs that I might need a night guard?

Signs of bruxism include worn, flattened, or chipped teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, headaches (especially in the morning), and discomfort in the jaw muscles.

Are there different types of night guards?

Yes, there are three main types of night guards: soft night guards, hard night guards, and dual laminate night guards. Soft night guards are made from flexible materials, while hard night guards are made from rigid materials. Dual laminate night guards combine soft and hard materials for durability and comfort.

How is a night guard made?

Night guards are custom-made by a dentist or dental laboratory based on impressions of your teeth. After taking impressions, the night guard is fabricated to fit your mouth precisely.

How do I care for my night guard?

It’s essential to clean your night guard daily with a toothbrush and mild soap or denture cleaner. Rinse it thoroughly before and after each use. Store it in a clean, dry container when not in use to prevent bacterial growth.

How long does a night guard last?

The lifespan of a night guard depends on factors such as the material used, the severity of bruxism, and how well it’s cared for. On average, night guards can last between 1 to 5 years. It’s essential to monitor for signs of wear and tear and replace the night guard as needed.

Can I wear a night guard if I have dental work (such as braces or dental implants)?

Yes, night guards can be worn with dental work, but it’s essential to consult with your dentist to ensure proper fit and compatibility with any existing dental appliances.

Can children wear night guards?

Night guards can be worn by children who grind their teeth, but it’s crucial to consult with a pediatric dentist to determine the underlying cause of the bruxism and the most appropriate treatment approach.

If you suspect you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, consult with your dentist for an evaluation and recommendations regarding the use of a night guard.

Sleep Apnea

Could I be suffering from Sleep Apnea at night and can a night guard be an effective solution for me?

What is sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the normal flow of air to a person’s lungs is interrupted for periods of 10 seconds or more during sleep. Some patients may experience more than 30 interruptions per hour, which is considered severe.

The significance of sleep apnea is that blood oxygen levels can drop, depriving many of the body’s organ systems, including the heart and brain, of this vital ingredient.

Sleep apnea comes in two main types.

In central sleep apnea, even though the airway itself (the nasal passages, throat, etc.) may be clear and unobstructed, the brain fails to tell the muscles to breathe. Central sleep apnea can be caused by several conditions.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep, reducing the flow of air to the lungs when the patient tries to breathe. Obstructions can occur anywhere in the airway. They are most common in the nose or mouth, soft palate, and throat.
Normal airflow may be reduced by enlarged tonsils or adenoid tissue; by obesity; by deformation or displacement of the nasal bones or cartilage; by excessive relaxation of the tongue, neck, or jaw muscles from alcohol or sedatives; or simply by the natural anatomical position of the jaw during sleep, which may allow the tongue and throat muscles to reduce the size of the airflow pathways to the lungs – just as kinking a garden hose reduces the flow of water through it.
This is especially true for patients who have a small lower jaw and a convex facial profile.
When a patient’s breathing pauses during sleep, he or she may naturally attempt to open the obstructed airway by breathing through the mouth, which can cause snoring.

Less serious consequences of sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness, forgetfulness, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and decreased energy, but more serious problems are possible.
They include depression, car and equipment crashes, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, convulsions, and stroke.
Patients with sleep apnea are less likely to have the motivation and energy to engage in physical activity, which is essential to their overall well-being. This can lead to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. It can also make treatment more difficult.

Chronic sleep apnea can also lead to an increase in the growth of blood vessels and the formation of tumors, which can lead to an increased incidence of cancer.