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How does a mouthguard help with better sleep?

How Mouthguard help with a better sleep

Before diving into a mouthguard benefits, we must understand what it is and why it is needed. Well, to begin with, have you been experiencing extreme stress or headaches after waking up? Has your partner been complaining about your teeth grinding or snoring? Does your jaw feel tensed and clenched? Are you in dire need of peaceful sleep? Also, is your oral health deteriorating at this point? Yes, this is where it all begins. Read on to know what is needed to take care of all these issues.

What are mouthguards?

A mouthguard or nightguard is a transparent device used at night to protect the biting surfaces of your teeth. This thin layer acts as a shield. Thus, the top and bottom teeth are kept from rubbing, chewing or grinding against one another. This external resistance helps prevent any involuntary movement during sleep. Although we might dismiss this grinding as common, it can have disturbing consequences in the long run.

Who needs a mouthguard?

  • People who grind their teeth at night. This might be noticeable with the help of visible symbols when awake, like soreness or pain in jaw muscles, cracked or chipped teeth, and headache.
  • People who participate in sports should wear a mouth guard to prevent any oral injuries or trauma. Contact sports like boxing, rugby, martial arts, football, hockey, basketball, and action sports like skateboarding, skiing, mountain biking, snowboarding require this protective gear.
  • Temporary mouthguards are also used during specific orthodontic treatments and restorative procedures.


Types of mouthguards

Here are a few different types of mouthguards that are commonly used.

Stock mouthguard

This mouthguard is the most easily accessible gear from these variants. It is readily available in medical stores and sports goods stores. Additionally, it is cost-effective. It usually is available in small, medium, and big sizes. Most stock mouthguards only cover your top teeth. Yet, one downside is that they typically don’t fit tightly. This, in turn, makes it difficult to speak when wearing the gear.

Boil-and-bite mouthguards

As the name suggests, this mouthguard is a gear that comes in a single size but can be custom-made at home to suit your jaw and bite. The mouthguard must be boiled until it softens. Keep this boiled gear over your front teeth and bite down neatly. Follow the instructions with the product to ensure optimum fit. The boil-and-bite mouthguards are as common and cost-friendly as stock mouthguards. Their success is in being custom-fit and therefore ensuring better comfort and effectiveness.

Custom-made mouthguard

This is the epitome of comfort and usefulness. Your dentist can make custom-made mouthguards. Your dentist may use a mould to get the precise shape of your teeth and mouth. So, undoubtedly, this variant is the most user-friendly one. If you suffer from problems such as grinding your teeth as you sleep, snoring, or suffer from sleep apnoea, this could possibly be the best solution. The only problem is the cost. These are not gears easily available in stores and are custom-made for your teeth so that they will cost more.

How does a mouthguard help with better sleep?

Mouthguards will help enhance your sleep patterns in direct and indirect ways that may make sense instantly or in the long run. Nevertheless, let us take a look at both. 

Jaw relaxation

Quite often, grinding, clenched jaw, or muscle pain become the reason for reduced or disturbed sleep. By separating the upper and lower jaw, a mouthguard prevents grinding, jaw tension and causal tooth, jaw, gum, and muscle pain.

Reduces headache

Bruxism can cause tension headaches in many people; some may suffer from prolonged and chronic headaches. The strain that results from the teeth clenching and grinding all the time affects the head, jaws, and ears. Reducing this pressure on the jaw and head can undoubtedly lessen the chronic nature of this headache.

Helps with sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea is a potentially fatal sleep disorder in which a person temporarily stops breathing while sleeping. For mild sleep apnoea, a custom-made mouthguard can become helpful. A sleep apnoea mouthguard prevents this by pushing the tongue and the lower jaw forward. This helps to keep your airway open.

Prevents Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ is a condition in which the chewing muscles are tight and sore. TMJ is caused by bruxism, which in turn is caused by the pressure created by this grinding of the teeth, on the nerves, ligaments, and all muscles surrounding the jaw. Using a night guard can help relieve muscle fatigue and TMJ pain.

Prevents tooth damage

Well, this is not one direct means by which a mouthguard guarantees better sleep. It is just a consequence of reduced grinding. Too much grinding will lead to tooth damage. And too much damage means pain, discomfort and the need for further dental treatments.

Saves money in the long run

From experience, you might know that dental procedures are not cheap, if not costly. By ensuring better dental health, you are saving up the money needed to get your teeth fixed. Isn’t that a good enough reason to sleep peacefully?

How to take care of a mouthguard

  • Store the mouthguard in a vented plastic storage box or container. This protects your gear from any damages or exposures.
  • After each use, rinse your mouthguard in cool water and clean it with a brush and soapy water. Allow it to dry naturally.
  • Avoid exposing the mouthguard to high temperatures, such as direct sunlight or hot water, to prevent warping.
  • Always check your mouthguard before use. Unchecked damages or bacterial growth can cause infections and discomfort.
  • Keep away from pets.

In short, mouthguards are a natural solution for sleep and oral issues. And in some sense, both problems are interdependent. So, just like you wear a helmet to protect your head, get into the habit of wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth, sleep and peace of mind.

If you experience any of the symptoms described in this article, it may be worth visiting your nearest dental clinic for a check-up. When diagnosed early enough and accurately, many dental issues can be completely taken care of without having them progress to more serious issues.


  • Dr Peter El Shoura

    Meet Dr Peter El Shoura, your local dentist and Owner of Kellyville Smiles. Known for his gentle approach, Dr Peter excels in easing patient anxieties, offering customised treatments that respect each individual's pace and preferences. Dr. Peter holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from The University of Melbourne, a Diploma in Clinical Orthodontics, a Fellowship in Implant Dentistry, as well as Mpharm(USyd) and Bmedsci(Usyd), highlighting his extensive expertise in dental health and advanced treatments.

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