Yes, I wear one too. I believe Dr. Lisa does as well. I have worn a night guard for a number of years and I just got a new one. I try to wear it every night but occasionally I forget to put it in or by the time I remember to I am too tired to get up and get it. Anyway, I am pretty faithful and it has helped me a lot.
I wear a night guard because I grind my teeth and I suffer from symptoms of TMJ without it. I have tension in my temple areas and in my cheeks but I also end up with a toothache because I tend to grind on one tooth and it irritates the heck out of it. The night guard takes away all of these symptoms and I feel much better in the morning when I wake up and throughout the day. Without it I can literally wake up some mornings and feel like my teeth don’t fit together because my muscles are so tensed that they throw my bit off.
I look at my night guard periodically and can actually see the ‘tracks’ where I grind on it. If I didn’t have it in I would be making these ‘tracks’ on my own natural teeth and it would continually wear down the enamel. It also protects some of the expensive dentistry I have had done from wear and tear as well. You can look at your own teeth in the mirror and examine the front ones. You can sometimes see the ‘squaring of the upper incisors or flattening of the lower incisors from the grinding. Most people will deny grinding at night but it isn’t too hard to tell by looking for the signs and those signs are wear on the teeth or jaw pain.
Let us know if you think we can help. I would never wear an over the counter night guard because it is too big, bulky and uncomfortable. That is a prescription for an excuse to not wear it. A custom fitted night guard should be comfortable.