Cannot Close Mouth With Night Guard

7th Mar 2022

Cannot Close Mouth With Night Guard

When you wear a dental night guard throughout the night, you want to be certain that it is fitted properly to your teeth. If your night guard regularly falls out or you cannot close your mouth with the night guard, it is a red flag that your night guard is not fitted correctly.

If your night guard is ill-fitted, it won’t properly protect your teeth and jaw from bruxism, TMJ, sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders. As soon as you realize your night guard is not fitting correctly, speak to your dentist and find a custom-fit night guard that is designed specifically for your teeth.

cannot close mouth with night guard

Should My Mouth Be Able to Close When Wearing My Night Guard?

When wearing your night guard, you should be able to comfortably close your mouth with the night guard. Your lips should touch while the dental appliance is in place. Because the night guard creates a separation between your top and bottom teeth, you might notice that your jaw does not close as far as it would without an oral appliance, but you should still be able to close your mouth around the device.

For your night guard to properly do its job, it needs to fit properly and sit correctly in your mouth. Struggling to close your mouth while wearing your night guard is an indication that something is off with the fit and that your night guard is not properly protecting your teeth.

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Night Guard Fitting

A properly fitting night guard should fit snugly on your teeth. Custom-fit night guards are designed to be a perfect fit. You might even notice a clicking sound when your night guard pops into place. If you’ve worn your night guard for some time and it fits differently than the first time you wore it, speak with your dentist about the fit of your guard.

You should be able to close your mouth while wearing a mouthguard, and it will usually cover all of the teeth on your upper or lower jaw, though some specific guards/splints might only cover the front teeth. Additionally, it should not be so loose that you need to use your tongue to hold your night guard in place, and it should not fall out while you are sleeping.

how to put night guard in mouth

If you’re using an over-the-counter night guard, you will likely find that you don’t get the snug fit that comes with a custom fitted night guard. These night guards sold at drug stores or sports stores are likely to be ill-fitted because they are manufactured as one-size-fits-all mouthguards. They allow for little to no customization and are not made to protect your teeth and jaw from teeth grinding. Rather, their purpose is to absorb impact and protect teeth during sports.

Over-the-counter night guards are not recommended for bruxism or TMJ in the dentistry field because they don’t provide adequate protection, and they are typically bulkier than custom-fit guards. This extra bulk might make it difficult to close your mouth.

If you are concerned about the fit of your night guard, schedule an appointment with your dentist and ask him or her to evaluate your fit.

What Happens if My Mouthguard is Ill-fitted?

For an ill-fitting over-the-counter night guard, the first thing you should do is switch to a custom-fit night guard. In most cases, this simple step will solve the problem by granting you more protection and comfort.

The authors of a clinical trial titled “Over-the-counter bite splints: A randomized controlled trial of compliance and efficacy” found that people who used over-the-counter night guards had a harder time creating a clinically acceptable fit when compared to those who get a professionally-fitted night guard. (Gerstner et al 2020)

For those who have a custom-fit night guard that does not fit correctly, the first step should be to visit your dentist. He or she may be able to adjust your fit, or they may recommend that you take new dental impressions for a new night guard.

Regardless of the reason your night guard doesn’t fit correctly, getting the correct fit is very important. A mouthguard should be a perfect fit to protect your teeth from jaw clenching and grinding due to bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder. An incorrectly fit night guard might have unwanted effects on your bite. Additionally, your side effects and TMJ pain may not dissipate. These side effects may include jaw pain, facial pain, sore jaw muscles, and tooth damage. A night guard that does not fit properly even has the potential to cause more oral health problems.

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What to Do If You Can’t Close Your Mouth with Your Night Guard

Teeth grinding and teeth clenching from bruxism and temporomandibular joint dysfunction is often accompanied by many painful symptoms, but a night guard can protect the upper and lower teeth as well as the jaw. A properly-fitted night guard or orthodontic device will fit snugly on your teeth, and you should be able to close your mouth while wearing the device. If your night guard does not fit correctly, switch to a custom-fit night guard or schedule an appointment with your dentist to find a solution.

If you’re using an over-the-counter night guard and you aren’t able to close your mouth while wearing the splint, consider purchasing a custom-fit night guard. This will better protect your teeth from bruxism, and it will feel more comfortable. Pro Teeth Guard offers custom-fit mouthguards online for an affordable price. Our night guards are made in a professional dental lab using professional materials and processes. This is effectively the mouthguard you’d receive from a dentist.

References:

  • Gerstner, G., Yao, W., Siripurapu, K., Aljanabi, H., Decker, A., Ludkin, D., Sinacola, R., Frimenko, K., Callaghan, K., Penoyer, S., & Tewksbury, C. (2020). Over-the-counter bite splints: A randomized controlled trial of compliance and efficacy. Clinical and experimental dental research, 6(6), 626–641. https://doi.org/10.1002/cre2.315
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