If you’ve been considering wearing a night guard (or have one you’re supposed to be using), you might be impressed at the health benefits that come with it.

A night guard is an oral appliance designed to be worn on your teeth, kind of like a retainer. There often needs to be more clarity about a retainer vs night guard and when to use which kind of appliance. In general, retainers keep teeth from shifting, whereas a night guard prevents damage from grinding.

Most people use it to limit the damage caused by the clenching and grinding of bruxism. However, a night guard can be worn by anyone who wants to avoid wear and tear on their teeth from sleep disorders, TMJ, and other grinding conditions.

Is a night guard right for you? Check out this handy dental appliance's three ways to improve overall health.

1. Reducing Headaches

Do you wake up with regular headaches that start your day off on the wrong foot until they finally disappear? Is your jaw or neck pain keeping you from enjoying your day?

If so, a night guard may be the solution.

Wearing a night guard that fits appropriately helps your jaw muscles relax. When they work too hard, they tighten up, pulling the attached muscles in your neck and shoulders.

The night guard prevents your teeth from connecting and grinding and allows the jaw muscles to get the rest they need to avoid the extra tension that causes headaches and facial discomfort.

This extra relief helps improve your quality of sleep. When you’re well-rested, your health improves, and you feel better overall.

2. Improving Sleep Apnea and the Symptoms That Come With It

We joke about and complain about snoring, yet it could come from a serious sleep apnea condition. We don’t always notice it ourselves or have partners who tell us that we’re snoring, but there are some other telltale warning signs.

Occasional snoring is normal. However, if you regularly sound like a freight train, always feel tired during the day, even after a whole night of sleep, and have dry mouth or headaches when you wake up, you may have a sleep disorder.

Dental and oral problems often trigger conditions like sleep apnea and excessive snoring. Usually, the tongue rolls backwards, cutting off your air supply and causing you to stop and restart breathing. The condition can be deadly if it becomes too severe.

Treatment often consists of a night guard. With a custom-fit night guard, your tongue stays in place. You aren’t gasping for air subconsciously, which helps you get consistent, restful sleep.

3. Preventing Expensive Dental Problems

When you’re sleeping, you can’t stop your teeth from connecting and grinding together. The frequent motion slowly erodes your enamel, causing corrosion to otherwise healthy teeth and damaging fillings that you spent a lot of money on to fill cavities.

Gradually, the grinding will chip your teeth and possibly break them completely. The resulting root canals are painful and pricey, and the damage may be so deep that it becomes irreversible, requiring extractions.

Protecting your teeth with a night guard is an easy way to avoid this damage. As long as the appliance correctly fits your teeth, it prevents the upper and lower jaws from connecting and grinding.

Remember that an over-the-counter or boil-and-bite guard may not give you the protection you need and could worsen your symptoms. These one-size-fits-most appliances are hard and uncomfortable. They can irritate your gums, cause infection, and make it difficult to sleep.

Making Your Night Guard Cost-Efficient

If your dentist was the person who suggested a night guard, you’re probably looking at hundreds of dollars or more to get yours fit and created. This can make cost a concern for many people.

Luckily, you can merge the best of both worlds and get a high-quality, custom-fit night guard through a professional lab rather than going to the dentist.

These kits come in the mail but use the same materials and processes as the dentist’s office does. You get the same results without the expensive office visits, making the night guards much more affordable.


Whether your grinding and clenching symptoms are mild and you want to avoid damage, or the problem is seriously impacting your health, a night guard can help.

With proper fit and consistent use, you’ll notice improved sleep, relaxed jaw muscles, fewer headaches, and a better physical and mental state.

Getting a custom-fit night guard is a small price to prevent complicated and expensive fixes. You’ll be glad you invested in this tiny but mighty device.