Hamilton Mountain Dental Group

Providing people with a positive experience centred around, but not limited to dental care. The product for both, our team and the people who trust us with their care will be a better quality of life.

Hamilton Night Guards & TMJ Disorder Treatment

If you’ve often been waking up in the morning with a sore jaw or a headache, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth at night without realizing it. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, wears away your enamel, can cause musculoskeletal problems in your jaw, as well as other oral health concerns. Our dentists work closely with you to determine the best course of action to create custom-made, comfortable night guards so you can wake up feeling well-rested, protect your teeth, and reduce jaw pain.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is very common in both adults and children and is often caused by stress, anxiety, misaligned teeth or sleeping disorders. It can happen during the day, or at night, as you sleep and are not aware of it. People often tend to dismiss this as not important, but waking up with a sore jaw constantly shouldn’t be ignored. Constantly grinding your teeth can cause premature wear and tear on your teeth; a mouth guard can prevent damage to your teeth, however. In more severe cases, left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. It is also associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

What Is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition that affects the jaw joints, muscles and ligaments, causing headaches, jaw pain, earaches, and other facial pain. Teeth grinding can cause or aggravate TMJ, while TMJ also can increase bruxism, too. A mouth guard or night guard can help break this cycle. Unfortunately, TMJ is a permanent disorder; while adults suffer from it most commonly, it does affect people of all ages. But luckily, thanks to advances in dentistry, there are ways to improve TMJ disorders like jaw discomfort and the wear and tear of teeth with custom-made night guards.


Custom-made night guards can be made for both the upper and lower jaw. They ultimately act as a barrier between your teeth and relieve tension from habits like clenching and grinding. They can be made from a few different materials – a softer material is the most common, but is suitable for less severe cases only, whereas a harder, thicker acrylic material is often preferred for patients with TMJ disorders. As always, our professionals will discuss what the best material will be for your specific case and which will provide you with the most comfort as well as protection.


Many patients shy away from talking about night guards because they don’t think they’ll be comfortable to wear at night, but that’s not the case. Custom-made mouth guards are fitted to you, and designed with your comfort in mind, so you can wake up feeling well-rested without a sore jaw or headache. Of course, it takes some getting used to at first, but within a few weeks, it’ll become a normal part of your nightly routine. 

Other natural ways to reduce clenching and grinding, to complement wearing a night guard, include:

  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption (particularly two to three hours before bedtime)
  • Limiting sugar consumption
  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking a warm bath before bed 
  • Doing yoga
  • Getting a massage
  • Stopping habits like chewing on pens during the day
  • Avoiding chewy foods, such as gum or steak

Nightguards not only help you have a better night’s sleep, but they also save the enamel on your teeth by preventing your teeth from grinding against each other. As your grinding or clenching habit worsens, you run the risk of weakening your enamel, which can lead to more issues like cavities and even tooth loss. Enamel plays a huge role in the healthiness of our teeth and it can be tough to restore if not dealt with as soon as possible. This is a key reason why dentists recommend guards.

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Let’s help you achieve straighter teeth, with Invisalign clear aligners. Improving patient experience is very important to us as well as keeping every patient well-informed throughout any procedure. Call us today to schedule your appointment to see if Invisalign treatment is the best option for you.

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