Many people are afflicted with bruxism (teeth grinding) or teeth clenching. Some people may do this during the day as well, but it may be a larger problem at night while you are asleep. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from teeth grinding can also disturb your spouse's sleep if loud enough. Clenching your teeth can loosen teeth, cause gum recessions as well as jaw muscle pain.
If you grind or clench your teeth you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is different than the athletic mouth guards, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. There are many different designs to fit your specific case. All guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow for proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the device created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable and can last many years with proper care.