You can expect to pay upwards of $500 to get mouth guards made through your average dental office, but new technologies allow you to get similar products for less. When you suffer from bruxism (clenching and grinding), it could lead to symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, including tenderness or pain in the jaw, popping or clicking when you chew, a locking jaw, earaches, headaches, and more.
‘Custom TMJ mouth guards can help, but you have to choose the right products for your needs. High-end, custom brands like OTIS, Pro Teeth Guard, Sentinel, enCore, JS Dental Lab, DenTek, Brux, and SOVA are all great. With a little comparison shopping, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect product for your specific needs.
Will a Mouth Guard Help TMJ?
There are several potential causes of TMJ disorders, but bruxism is among the most common, and many patients see improvement with a custom mouth guard.
How Does a TMJ Mouth Guard Work?
A custom TMJ mouth guard will conform to your teeth and bite, helping to cushion teeth and reposition the jaw to prevent harmful clenching and grinding.
How Can a Mouth Guard Help?
Reducing tension helps to ease the symptoms of TMJ so you can get a full night of rest, reduce pain, and regain function.
How Long Does it Take for a Mouth Guard to Work for TMJ?
Relief of symptoms will depend on the severity and causes of your TMJ. A mouth guard can stop clenching and grinding when you wear it, helping to temporarily alleviate symptoms caused by bruxism.
8 Best Mouth Guards for TMJ: Which is the Best?
Choosing the right mouth guard for your needs isn’t as easy as picking the first brand that pops up on Google. You need to consider your purpose in getting a mouth guard, as well as features and cost. The good news is, there are several customizable options available for you to compare. Which is the best for you?
This brand offers four options at varying prices, including:
- Soft Night Guard for light clenching or grinding (1.5-2mm) – $169.99
- Ultra Thin Guard for daytime grinding (1mm) – $179.99
- Hybrid Night Guard for moderate grinding (2-3mm) – $189.99
- Hard Night Guard for heavy grinding (2-3mm) – $209.99
Cost includes an at-home impression kit, shipping and handling, and a custom night guard. You’ll also enjoy the 110% Money Back Guarantee that proves commitment to customer satisfaction. Perfect fit and comfort are guaranteed.
Comfort and fit are the names of the game with OTIS, which offers the durability of a 1mm hard outer surface, paired with a 1mm soft inner lining for optimal fit and comfort. An at-home impression kit is provided for your convenience, and night guards are manufactured with ISO-certified materials guaranteed to be non-allergenic and free of harmful BPAs. The price of $149 includes impression kit, night guard, travel case, and free shipping, and there’s an option for monthly payments.
Sentinel creates both night guards and mouth guards suitable for athletics. Pricing includes impression kit, shipping, and custom mouth guard. You can choose from:
- Custom Athletic Mouth Guard (2-3mm) – $99.99
- Soft Night Guard (2-3mm) – $99.99
- Hard Night Guard (1-2mm) – $124
- Dual Laminate Mouth Guard (1-2mm) – $129.99
- Dental Retainers (1mm) – $149.99
Made from BPA- and latex-free materials, these custom mouth guards are available in several styles, including:
- Single Layer Soft – $99
- Single Layer Hard – $119
- Dual Layer (Hard/Soft) – $119
- Colored Dual Layer – $129
- Clear Retainer – $119
*bundles with multiple mouth guards are also available with discounted pricing of up to 30% off individual prices
Prices include at-home impression kit, shipping, night guard, and case. enCore offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee within 30 days if the fit isn’t right, and all products include a 1-year warranty, except soft guards, which have a 6-month warranty.
JS Dental Lab offers a range of custom products for light to heavy grinding, starting with the Soft Night Guard for light grinding and sensitive teeth at a price of $109.99, and progressing to the 3D Night Guard for severe grinding at a price of $219.99. New customers save 10% on orders over $200 and 15% on orders over $280. Additional savings are available on reorder. Pricing includes at-home impression kit, shipping, custom night guard, and protective case.
BPA- and latex-free DenTek mouth guards include a 6-month protection guarantee. This product is different from others in that you custom-fit it at home. First, you load the dental guard into a forming tray, position it in your mouth, and bite down.
Next, you place the guard (in forming tray) in boiling water for 60 seconds, dip it in room temperature water, then position it in your mouth for optimal alignment and bite down firmly until it cools (at least 2 minutes) before running under cool water to set. With that, your custom night guard is ready to wear. These products are available at major pharmacies like CVS, RiteAid, and Walgreens for about $19.99.
These night guards are smaller and lighter than most for more comfortable wear, and they use the same basic boil-and-bite design as DenTek for customization. Order online at a price of $60, which includes night guard and vented storage case.
Slim (1.6mm) and durable SOVA night guards require no impressions and allow for remoldable fitting at home for ongoing custom fit. Non-compressible, perforated material is breathable, and products are free of BPA, latex, phthalates, and PVC. The price for this product is $34.99, plus $8.99 for protective case, and it comes with a 120-day durability warranty.
Custom TMJ Mouth Guards vs. Store Bought
Store bought mouth guards are certainly the cheapest option, but like most things, you’ll get what you pay for. When you’re suffering TMJ symptoms related to bruxism, you want a lasting solution that offers comfort and custom fit. You’ll get the value you seek with a custom mouth guard.
Custom TMJ Mouth Guards
Store Bought TMJ Mouth Guards
How to Clean a TMJ Mouth Guard
Like other oral appliances, your TMJ mouth guard is best cleaned by soaking it for up to 30 minutes a day in suitable, non-alcohol-based cleaners specifically designed for the purpose. These sanitizing solutions eliminate harmful bacteria that could lead to tooth decay and gum disease. After soaking, you can brush your mouth guard with a toothbrush (no toothpaste) to remove any residue, allow it to dry, and then store it in a protective case.
With proper care, your custom mouth guard could last between five and ten years. You’ll want to replace it when you notice cracks, tears, fraying, or misshapen appearance due to wear and tear. Daily wear and rough treatment can reduce the usable life of your mouthguard. If your teeth move, you lose teeth, or your mouth guard no longer covers teeth, it’s time to replace.
A mouth guard can harbor bacteria, but with proper oral hygiene and regular cleaning of oral appliances, it shouldn’t increase risk factors. Often, mouth guards reduce risks of tooth decay and gum disease by protecting teeth from harm.
Custom mouth guards are designed to create added cushion between teeth, helping to prevent damage, especially for patients with bruxism. An ill-fitting mouth guard could potentially cause pain or damage due to slipping, which is why a custom fit is essential.
Custom mouth guards are fitted to your teeth, so if anything, these oral devices are more likely to prevent movement.
No, you will need orthodontic appliances designed for this purpose.
Because mouth guards add extra cushion between teeth during sleep, they can lead to open-mouth breathing, potentially causing dry mouth, sore throat, or bad breath symptoms. A mouth wash like Biotene that treats dry mouth can help.
It may take time to get used to a mouth guard, but a custom-fitted appliance should be easy to adjust to and provide maximum comfort during wear.