33 answers

Experience with Device to Stop Grinding Teeth

I have been a teeth grinder my entire life. I don't do it every night, just now and then. My dentist has recommended a small device, I believed it is called NTI, which snaps in place between my front teeth to stop grinding. He says using it for a couple weeks will be enough to stop the grinding for awhile (and I'll just need to use it when I start grinding again). Of course my insurance does not cover it and it costs $430. Has anyone had any experience with these things before?

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My dentist gave me a rubbery mouth piece that was molded for me. I only wore it at night and now use it very rarely. It was about 150$.

I didn't have a chance to read all of the responses, so I don't know if anyone had the same experience as me. Forgive me if this is a repeat. When I was in my 20s, I too was told I was grinding my teeth at night. There was no evidence on my teeth, but I had the jaw popping and inability to close down all of the way on my teeth at times. I got the night guard and was forever finding it in the bed with me in the morning, not in my mouth. I gave up on it. Later on an unrelated issue, I went to a chiropractor. After the adjustment, both the back issue and the jaw issue were gone. Any time I have the clicking again, I get an adjustment and I'm all better. Weird huh?

Yes, I have one of these NTIs, and it has really helped me out. I am a clencher and a grinder and my jaw was getting really sore and starting to pop sometimes when I ate. I got one and it has been a life saver for me. I hold all my stress in my jaw, so I will grind at night to try and relieve it. Anyway, I got mine at my dentist in Wyoming before I moved to California, it only cost me $200 or so. Maybe you could shop around dentist. I would definately recommend it.

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I have the same thing. I just got it. Before that, I had a soft one, but they custom made the newest one for me and it is hard plastic that snaps onto my top teeth. They cost me the exact amount that you say in your message. I know it is expensive, but it is probably worth the money. My soft one cost $500 and lasted 5 years or so. I think this one will last longer. Your teeth are the only ones you get, so you should take care of them. I was told by a hygienist a long time ago to try the mouth guards that you get over the counter to save money, but it really didn't help at all. Since I was suffering from migraines from grinding, I decided to spend the money and my migraines did go away! I say it is well worth it.

1 mom found this helpful

Not sure of the name NTI but I use a night guard for clenching/grinding. Mine has gotten so severe since having baby #2 (the stress is high!) that my jaw aches even when I talk. So I finally broke down and got the night guard which I hate BUT it does help. You just have to get used to the feeling. If you've ever had a retainer after braces, it is somewhat similar. Mine is kind of like the mouth guards used for sports only smaller and hard, not pliable. I would recommend you bite the bullet and get one as it can save your teeth. I should have gotten one a long, long time ago!

1 mom found this helpful

I have been using the NTI for 5 years now and I LOVE IT! It is much different than using any other night guard. I get bad headaches when I grind my teeth even with regular mouth guards since they just protect the teeth they don't help stop or lessen the pressure. The NTI has been great. I still grind my teeth with the NTI but I can't do it with the same force and I can only grind my front teeth on the NTI. My insurance didn't pay for it either but I don't recall spending that much on mine. I thought I spent about $250. I went to Dr. Fair in Downtown Sac. http://www.davidfairdds.com/ Good Luck! You won't regret it!

Hi E.!

I have been a "teeth grinder" as well. I paid for a device to use when I slept, too. I REALLY helped me! I used to grind on my back teeth (sometimes I still do). I didn't realize how much pain and discomfort it cause me until I had this device made for me.

I lost the device when we moved years ago, and haven't replaced it. When I get stressed, is when I grind more. An aquiantance told me to put Gummy Bears on my back teeth to prevent my teeth from touching eachother....it worked!

If you can afford it, it will make a huge difference in your life, and I would recommend you have one made. Otherwise, there are silly other alternatives (like Gummy Bears) that can help ease some discomfort for a little while :o)

Hope that helps make your decision :o)

:o) N.

Don't know if you've already tried it or not, but they do have cheap ones (like $15-20) at Target or Longs (Rite Aid, etc). I'd personally try that first before spending hundreds :)
Good luck!

I started using the NTI about 3 weeks ago and it has been a life saver. I would grind and clench my teeth to the point that I would wake up with a migraine. Not a good way to start the day. It takes a little time to get used to it, but now I hardly notice it. It has not alleviated all my migraines but it was a significant piece. The moldable inexpensive ones did not work. You can still grind and get the pressure in the back teeth. Been there and done that. Even if I lay down for a nap I pop it in. Yes, it is expensive but so are replacement teeth and migraine meds. I wear it every night. I am not sure about his idea that it will stop your grinding after a few weeks. If you make the investment to buy it, I would wear it. Good luck.

I am a SAHM of 4, ages 14, 10, 7 and 4.

I use to be a teeth grinder myself. What I did was go to Walmart or any sporting good store and by a mouth piece, you know the ones that football players wear. I wore mine at night while I slept. I no longer grind my teeth. It is better to only spend 5 bucks. And it does the same job.
Hope this helps. K.

You can purchase a moldable mouth guard at Long's or even in the health/beauty department of your local grocery store (around $25) but you can also go to a sporting goods store and get one for around $5. They all serve the same purpose. I get the cheap one(s) because sometimes I leave them on my nightstand and my DOG chews them into tiny little pieces (the same thing she did with my girls' retainers when she got them). They're all a little invasive, but you will feel much better after wearing it for a few nights.

I am a teeth grinder & have been for many years now. I started off w/the traditional night guard & then moved to the NTI. I like this device so much bettter. Someone posted that since the grinding generally occurs in the back that the NTI will not stop that but it does. Since it's in tight between your front teeth, it raises the back teeth just a smidge & really helps. I wear mine every night. Yep, it is pricey but soooo worth it. I was having bad headaches from all the grinding & this device helped alleviate that.

I am in the same predicament - grind teeth, $430 for a mouth piece that my insurance won't cover! I happen to be in Wal*Mart and found they sell a mouth piece for under $30 bucks. It may not be molded to the fit of my mouth but it sure does it's job. You may want to look into it! Good luck!

I had the same experience you are having. I grind my teeth and my jaw pops. There were times that I felt like I wanted to rip my whole jaw off because of the pain I had. I went to the dentist and they told me the same thing they told you. I needed this splint thing and, of course, my insurance did not cover it. Being a sucker, I caved in and bought it. I was suppose to wear this thing all day and night for 3 months. After that they said I could probably get away with either wereing it one month then off a month or capping all my teeth. I wore it the first 3 months and it kind of made a difference. My jaw still popped but didn't hurt as bad. Looking back on it now, I probably would not have spent the money and would have gone to the drug store and got splint from there. Yes, they are a bit more bulky but all you really need to do it wear it at night.
My opinion, if you really only need it at night, don't waste $430 on it. The ones at the store work just as good.

I have been researching night guards for myself. I have not been to the dentist for about 2 years, but the last time I was there she asked me if I grind my teeth. I told her I didn't think so or maybe sometimes, and we didn't talk much more about it.
However, I had some TMJ problems (mostly just an occasional locked jaw) about 15 years ago. Getting braces, wearing a device that widened the roof of my mouth, and having my teeth aligned fixed the issues I was having.
I did see a jaw surgeon because my orthodintist told me I should. I learned that my upper jaw slopes down on one side and my lower jaw is too far back. However, I did not want to go through such an exstensive surgery and the doctor said it wasn't necessry since I was no longer having any pain. He said if the pain returned when I was older then maybe I would need to have surgery.
Well now I think I am grinding my teeth, but I have not yet gone to the dentist to confirm. I am under a lot of stress so it is definitely possible.
My jaw is a little bit sore sometimes, but it is the other symptoms that bother me more. I get a plugged feeling in my ears, sometimes ringing in my ears, pains in my temples or it feels like I am wearing a headband, extremely sensitive pain (hurts even to touch) in the back of my neck where it meets my skull. I have read that these are all symptoms of TMJ. I would be curious to know if any of you have had experiences like this.
I know the devices you buy from the dentist can be very expensive. So I decided to look into some inexpensive alternatives first. I just bought one called a splintek on-line. We will see if it works. I also know there are a couple of companies out there where you can order your night guards directly from the labs that the dentists order their stuff from. They will send you the stuff to take molds of your teeth and the whole deal. I may try that next i fthe splintek doesn't work. I think you can do that for less than $100.
I hope you find somethign that works! Good luck.

I have been wearing a "hard" night guard for 17 years now. I'm not sure if the NTI is the proper device for grinding, because you need to protect the chewing surface of your teeth so as not to wear them down by grinding. My night guard cost about $500, but is a lot less expensive than the $1000 per tooth I paid for 14 veneers and 4 crowns to cover my teeth damaged (and shortened) by 40 years of grinding, none of which was covered by insurance. Do not buy an over the counter product. It should be made to correctly fit your mouth. The cost isn't that bad if you really think about it. If you take care of the guard, it will last a long time. As I said, I've had mine for 17 years (same one, no replacements), a whopping cost of 8 cents per day. Not so bad when you put it into perspective.

Hi there. Would you mind sharing with me if you get any info that helps. I am also a major teeth grinder and have used various guards but I grind through them. Thanks!

Hi E.,

All my life I too have been a teeth grinder. As a result my front chip are chipped and uneven. When I was younger I wore a mouth guard in my and it helped. For a while that broke the grinding until I got older and the mouth guard became a bit uncomfortable to sleep with. Now that I'm 26 I find that when I take my iron vitamins on a regualar basis it reduces the grinding at night. I know this because my boyfriend has told me on nights that I didn't grind my teeth were nights that I had taken my iron vitamins. I'm know Einstein and Im not confirming that iron vitamins will cure teeth grinding. lol. But I honesty believe it has something to do with lack of iron. I could be wrong. However my experience has been that iron pills helped my teeth grinding problems. I still grind my teeth from time to time but its not so bad now that I'm older. Besides iron pills I would go ahead and invest in the NTI, I myself have never heard of such device but if your Dentist recommends it I would try it. Good luck...

I have a solution that has worked for me for well over 40 years (I'm a senior citizen/grandma.) Many years ago, when I was married and raising my small children, I had SEVERE jaw and ear pain from clenching my jaws at night, from 'stress,' the dentist said. He wanted to prescribe whatever mouth piece was available at the time. My husband and father of my children said "No way -- I'll get you a boxer's mouthpiece -- that is good enough."

Soooooo, I came up with my own solution. I trained myself to sleep with my tongue between my teeth. Try it -- just spread your tongue up against your top teeth and gently close your bottom jaw keeping your tongue between your teeth.

When I went to bed, I told myself "that is the way you will sleep" -- then I went to sleep. After a few nights, it started to become almost natural. If I woke up and felt I'd been clenching, I put my tongue back between my teeth and told myself to keep it there. I guess you could call it 'self-hyposis" and it worked then and still does when I find myself clenching. I am not kidding!!!!! IT WORKS, and it doesn't cost anything, it doesn't get lost, you don't have to keep it away from the dog, and your 'bed partner' can't make fun of you 'cause you have something in your mouth...

Needless to say, when my children were a little older, I divorced their father and lived happily ever after.

Good luck on finding your solution.

____@____.com

Yes, I have one of these NTIs, and it has really helped me out. I am a clencher and a grinder and my jaw was getting really sore and starting to pop sometimes when I ate. I got one and it has been a life saver for me. I hold all my stress in my jaw, so I will grind at night to try and relieve it. Anyway, I got mine at my dentist in Wyoming before I moved to California, it only cost me $200 or so. Maybe you could shop around dentist. I would definately recommend it.

Have you tried a night guard? They do a mold at the dentist. It is a clear mold of your teeth that snaps over your bottom teeth. I have TMJ and when I am having problems it helps with my headaches. It will be a little less money wise. Good luck.

E.,

I have experience with TMJ and teeth grinding. Ask your dentist to make you a soft guard instead of the NTI to try-- they usually don't cost too much and its worth a shot. Also, they do sell night guards at drug stores- for about 20 bucks. You could also purchase one and then bring it to the dentist to have it custom fit. Good luck and I hope this helps!

M.

Hi E.,
I actually just got one about a month ago and its great! I had a full mouthguard before and the dog got to it. This one is soo much more comfortable. It makes all the difference when I wake in the morning and my jaw isnt sore so it was worth it for me. Hope this helps.

I didn't have a chance to read all of the responses, so I don't know if anyone had the same experience as me. Forgive me if this is a repeat. When I was in my 20s, I too was told I was grinding my teeth at night. There was no evidence on my teeth, but I had the jaw popping and inability to close down all of the way on my teeth at times. I got the night guard and was forever finding it in the bed with me in the morning, not in my mouth. I gave up on it. Later on an unrelated issue, I went to a chiropractor. After the adjustment, both the back issue and the jaw issue were gone. Any time I have the clicking again, I get an adjustment and I'm all better. Weird huh?

Hi!
I have been using the NTI for years. I think this device is great if you are a grinder and a clincher. If you don't clench your teeth, then you probably could go with something cheaper. Also, you might want to call around and do some price checking. My dentist only charged $250, but my hygienist said that the other dentist she works for charges $500. My dentist also told me that after a couple of weeks I could possibly retrain myself to stop grinding, but after 5+ years, if I miss a night I grind away. My only advice would be to get something soon though. My teeth have a lot of damage because of this and I wish I would have gotten the NTI much sooner. Good Luck!

I use something called a night guard which is a hard plastic form that is molded to fit over all of my bottom teeth. It took a little getting used to but I've stopped breaking teeth (or weakening them) and now just grind on the guard. My dentist said that it is preferable because I have a 'need' to grind and this allows it while protecting my teeth. Not sure how my dentist submitted it to the insurance, but perhaps because it stops me from causing additional damage, the insurance did cover it. My son also grinds - his dentist has him using a soft upper guard that protects his top teeth. Works for him except that he continues to grind and has ground through at least two of these upper guards. His insurance also eventally covered his. Good luck - J.

I have the NTI (have had it for just a few months) and it's great. I asked the dentist whether a splintek (or other cheaper device) would work and he said no, not for what I do. I think it's because the pressure (I clench more than grind) is still applied with these softer devices, and I've had gum recession and decay as a result. It's perfectly comfortable, such that now it feels weird if I try to go to sleep without it. I hate to say you have to spend that much but I think it does work (much?) better. Maybe you can get more info from your dentist about its benefits over a cheaper option before you spend the money.

Dear E.,
I have never had problems with teeth grinding, but have suffered with TMJ for years. It affects the joints of the jaws and I was either not able to bite down all the way or open my mouth even enough to get a finger in. A specialist recommended surgery, but I was terrified of going through that. So, he gave me something else to try.
You can go to any drug store, (I went to Rite-Aid) and get a mouthguard. The kind that athletes use for football or boxing, etc. I found that the ones that worked best for me were the kind that you submerge in hot water long enough to make them pliable, let them cool, them put them in your mouth and bite down so they conform to the shape of your teeth. They are not uncomfortable at all and really helped keep my jaws aligned, especially at night during sleep. It also helped alleviate alot of the neck pain I was having associated with my jaws shifting.
They literally only cost a few bucks, so if you have to try a couple before you find one that works, it's worth it before shelling out $400.
Best of luck to you!

Hi E.,
Please view my profile to see my experience in this area. I wear an NTI at night for clenching. It was developed for clenching, NOT grinding. If you are grinding (bruxing) your teeth, not just clenching, I would advise a nightguard instead. There are 2 types of nightguards, a hard one and a soft, rubbery one. They need to be fabricated at a dental office or dental lab as upper and lower models of your teeth need to be articulated. I don't advise using a "do it yourself" kit as it is easy to do more harm if don't know what you are doing. Alot of dental insurances cover nightguards, I'm not sure about the NTI though as it was developed to help with migraines. I have always found it frustrating that dental offices charge SO much for either as they don't take alot of time to make. I have personally made tons of nightguards (soft and hard) and a few NTIs. Email me if you have questions, I L. giving people information so they can ask the right questions at the dentist. Remember, dentistry is a business and people go into business to make money. :-)
Sincerely,
L.

Hi E.,

I definitely encourage you to invest in the NTI your dentist recommends. You've received a lot of great advice from currents night guard wearers. My husband and I both sleep with one every night. If we forget one night our jaws tell us the next morning. You'll not only relieve muscle tension, but also preserve your teeth and any dental work you've had done.

E.,

I am a huge teeth grinder. Have been ever since I was little. My dentist made me a great night guard. I have to wear it every night. I don't think I guard will help you to stop grinding your teeth. However, it will protect your teeth when you do. If they are made to fit your mouth correctly it will be very comfortable and you won't really notice it is there. I have one made years ago that was so uncomfortable that I couldn't wear it (it also cost about $500). The more recent one I have was the same price but fit much better. After my dentist made my most recent one hse had me come in for fittings ever couple of week for the first few months because your bite changes as you stop grinding/clenching. I would just make sure that your dentist does the same thing to get the best fit.

I have not had the one that my dentist recommends (I used to grind often too). When I resolved the biggest source of my stress, my grinding went down to occasional. I couldn't really justify the money for the NTI and insurance would not cover. So I bought an over the counter "Night Guard". I'm sure it's not as great as the denist's version, but for me it works to just stop the grinding on an occasional basis.

The only other thing I can recommend is to check if you have not already, is to see if your medical insurance will cover it. I was told that if my regular health insurance covered TMJ then they'd likely cover the expensive NTI - as it turns out my health plan did not cover TMJ, nor did my dental plan so I personally was out of luck, but you never know unless you ask.

My experience with the NTI has been ANYTHING put positive! Since using it my whole jaw feels as if it is misaligned. I have pain chewing that I did not have before, and when I close my mouth it feels as if my right side is closing before my left side! I had only a ache before because I was clenching, and my jaw muscle was sore from that. Now my whole jaw hurts, and it is getting worse. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

I have an older night guard for clenching, it's hard plastic that covers my upper teeth. I've been using it for over 10 years. My jaw is actually sore in the morning if I don't use it! This is probably an older model and what you are describing may be the newest thing in protecting your teeth. My husband got his later and it is more like you describe the NTI. You only get one set of adult teeth, so it is best to protect them. The dental work you will need if you don't will be extremely expensive and not necessarily covered by insurance. Get a second opinion if you wish from another dentist about which protective device is right for you, but getting one will definately be worth the money. They often have payment plans you can sign up for too.

I had really bad TMJ (that's what the term is for grinding teeth) when I was in college. It started out with my jaw just clicking, but it got so horrible that my jaw would lock up when I ate. Very painful.

I went to an orthodontist and he gave me what they call a night guard. At first I wore it all the time (not pretty!), but then I just had to wear it at night. It cured my problem!! I believe it trained my jaw to relax. It was the best thing for me.

I'd say it's worth it, just because you don't want your jaw to get worse. This was about 18 years ago, so I'm sure the guards are less bulky and more comfortable now. Good luck!

My dentist gave me a rubbery mouth piece that was molded for me. I only wore it at night and now use it very rarely. It was about 150$.

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