NTI night guard

NTI night guard review

Review: The NTI night guard by your licensed dentist.
Official website: chairsidesplint.com

In 1998, James P. Boyd developed a splint to treat and prevent headaches and bruxism. He named it the “nociceptive trigeminal inhibition splint” (NTI). The NTI night guard has the distinction of covering only the front teeth. According to Dr. Boyd, pressure on the front teeth should reduce the intensity of the involuntary contractions that people with bruxism suffer from. In other words, with the NTI night guard, you should not be able to clench as hard as you normally do.

It is important to know, for anyone thinking about getting a NTI mouth guard that its benefits have only been evaluated over short periods of time. Some reports have been made of alteration in the position of the teeth in bruxers who wore this device for a long period.

To use a NTI night guard, you need to have it adjusted by a dentist who had previous training with the NTI. To find a dentist, use one of the links below:

In canada: http://www.nti-tss.ca/pages/finddds.htm

In the US: http://www.theheadacheremedy.com/fad.php

NTI night guard preview

In our opinion, it is not advisable to use the NTI night guard. It does not completely protect the teeth. As stated in the requirements for a good mouth guard, a night guard should cover all teeth, not just the front teeth.

If you do decide to go for the NTI, make sure to have frequent follow-ups with your dentist. Your dentist should tell you if there is any alteration in your teeth. Price for the NTI device range from $250 to $600. It is the important follow-ups that explain the high price of this night guard.

Keep in mine that for a lower price, you can easily get a custom made night guard that protect all your teeth. For this reason and those specified above, we strongly recommend you use a custom night guard instead of the NTI guard. Learn more at Step 1.

Have you tried the NTI night guard? Post your review below.

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 24 reviews
by Ingrid on Blank Product Name
Repair and review NTI

Hi Everyone,Have had my NTI for over ten years. It worked well for me, but so much hinges on your dentist adjusting your teeth, your bite and the mouth guard plus keepng an eye on your development during the first weeks and months. As to reading about NTIs cracking, my former dentist would repair them, put them back again, so would be good to go for anotjet round. I woud wear them out frequenty during my first couple of years, but better to wear down the device instead of your teeth. My dentist was Hans Lennros, Halmstad.

So far great

After trying a full custom guard to protect the surface of my teeth from grinding, I developed horrific jaw pain that lasted 6 weeks or more. It seems I was clenching/chewing on the guard (in my sleep). I finally agreed to the NTI and mine was fitted for my bottom teeth. It spreads out over about 6 teeth. I was scared at first that it would come off and I'd choke to death. But when you pop it on, and you hear that light snap sound, you should feel safe that it will stay put. Within a week, the muscles in my jaw relaxed and my pain went away. It was a miracle relief. I can't sleep without it now and won't. My jaw muscles actually relax enough that I sometimes wake up with my mouth open - a rare thing for a clincher! I've had it about 4 years and clean it with vinegar and water mix. I can tell it's about time to get it adjusted or replaced because there's a little wiggle room in it now. It originally cost me 400.00 and was worth every penny. I highly recommend it to people who clench their jaw during sleep. The pain from TMJd is no joke and those muscles need to be relaxed and retrained.

by Wayne L. on Blank Product Name
Something changed for the worse

I used to grind my teeth so bad I was cracking them and I never found a mouth guard that was comfortable.Tried all types of custom and OTC guards and spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Got my 1st NTI 5 years ago and it worked great. Dentist recommended, cost me $485 and they took an impression and I got it back weeks later. It was comfortable and stopped the grinding and I never needed to have it adjusted.
It broke a month ago (from wear) so I went to the dentist and now it costs $585 and it was a different color and they literally put in on my front teeth (it felt warm) and I took it home on the spot.
This one doesn't look the same, doesn't feel the same on my teeth and it gave me intense jaw pain when I woke up. I've gone back to the dentist 3 times for adjustments in 4 weeks and it's only getting worse. I'm actually worried it's causing TMJ.
Not happy about spending $585 to cause myself pain.

by J. Lewis on Blank Product Name
Choking Hazard

Over the past two nights I awoke from sleep with the NTI in my mouth. The NTI is a potential choking hazard. If there were a "stopper" connected to the NTI outside of the the mouth it would be safer. Perhaps if it were even larger, covering more teeth, that may help. Aside from the choking scare, it is well constructed and I found it to be unaffected by the rigors of grinding.

by Stephanie B on Blank Product Name
Bad--changed my bite

Do NOT use the NTI night guard. After 4 years of nightly use it is obviously that my front teeth no longer make contact--there is a gap between upper and lower incisors. I wish I had known this was a possibility--I was very satisfied with the full mouth guard previously. I am hoping the dentist and/or Keller Lab will take responsibility for potential repairs!

I love the NTI

I have used the NTI for about 10 years now. When I first started to use it I noticed a little wear on my bottom front teeth due to my grinding/clenching. Since then I've combined the use of the NTI with a full-piece bottom mouthguard made out of acrylic. ( I only use them at night when I sleep.) Now if I grind my teeth at all, the NTI slides easily against the bottom mouthguard and none of my teeth receive any wear. More importantly I believe that I'm not clenching as hard and that I have fewer headaches. I think the NTI and the bottom mouthguard are the perfect combination!!! I recommend them to anyone.


after consulting a "specialist" for intense clenching and resulting TMJ issues I was sold an NTI as the supposed best solution for the problem. Never once was it mentioned to me that the potential existed for this appliance to move my teeth. I wore 3 NTI's in as many years, as each would break after about a year of nightly wear. At $600 a pop, this wasn't a cheap exercise. There was some reduction in my pain and headaches but still some tension in the joint itself as Im sure there was still some pressure exerted as I slept with it in, although less than without it. When the 3rd started showing signs of loosening I casually googled the appliance and stumbled upon the warnings of teeth moving and open bite developing as a direct result of wearing an NTI - went to the mirror and low and behold, my teeth had moved substantially but gradually enough that I hadn't noticed it. Not once had the "specialist" I was seeing even suggested checking for any movements, he was happy just to pass a bill for another $600 each time. No follow ups required either, just to go back if I could move it out of my moth with my tongue alone. Its been 6 months since I stopped wearing it. In that time I'm clenching more than ever, developed terrible sensitivity due to increased recession and I'm now staring down the barrel or periodontal work and orthodontics to deal with the fall out. DO NOT wear this device!!!!

by Julie on Blank Product Name
Love the NTI

My husband and I have used these for years. When I use it, I no longer wake up with a headache that lasts 4-6 hours, even with 800 mg of ibuprofen. I haven't had any issues with my teeth moving. Love it!

by Blair on Blank Product Name
It's a trade-off

I have also been negatively affected by the NTI appliance. My story mirrors the other comments here. I wore mine for 4-5 years, and never noticed that it slowly moved my front teeth outwards, until one day I could no longer rip things open with my front teeth! Pretty upsetting, after my parents paid for braces when I was younger. However, NTI was a little more helpful than my 1st nightguard for preventing the awful "clenching headache" and muscle tension...

by lauren Jarvis on Blank Product Name
Beware of NTI

This appliance ended up moving my front tooth out, dramatically affecting my bite and allignment and causing both my daughter and
I to have to spend $4,000 to have "Invisiline " repositioning procedure
done on both of our mouths.
Terrible invention!! This was only after 5 months!

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  1. Hi,

    I clench my jaw in my sleep. I have had an NTI in the past. I found that it made my front teeth very sore and eventually gave up using it. I have also had several night guards custom made by my dentist.
    As my teeth are cracking and three have been removed and eventually replaced by implants, the night guards had had to be remade, which is proving costly.
    The last one was eaten by my dog!
    I suffer daily migraine headaches.
    I have tried hypnosis, acupuncture, massage, several types of meditation, stress reduction, botox, sleeping tablets, Lyrica and valium, all with no success.
    I am now considering investing in a biofeedback device called the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband. I would be interested if any of your readers have had success with it.

    • Hi Sabina,
      One thing I would check before trying the SleepGuard Biofeedback is if your clenching is caused by apnea or upper airway resistance during your sleep. Those sleep disorders cause micro arousals (which you are usually unaware of) that can cause clenching of your jaw. If you don’t suffer from those disorders, than the SleepGuard will most likely help you.

      And for your next custom night guards, you can save a lot buy ordering directly from Pro Teeth Guard if you live in the US or Canada.

  2. Hi, thanks for this site and article. so helpful. :)

    I’ve had an NTI (fitted for my bottom teeth) since april 20, 2011. the other night (mid-June, 2013), it broke. I destroyed it over time with my clenching. It split in half. I paid $425 for it.

    I was furious.

    My last night guard lasted YEARS. It was a typical custom guard that encapsulated all of my upper teeth that over a period of years, but eventually it started coming apart in little pieces.

    My new dentist (I’d moved) recommended the NTI, which I’d never seen before.

    For $425 the thing should last a decade. I have an appointment today and am very upset at the prospect of shelling out hundreds more dollars for a new guard. I WILL NOT choose the NTI again. It fell out of my mouth a few times in the night over the years too. Or I’d wake in the middle of the night with it rolling around in my mouth. Scary.

    In addition, because of the pressure I put on the NTI nightly for a year or so, my upper teeth pushed out and would no longer touch my bottom teeth when I bit down. Instead of complaining to my dentist, who actually looked alarmed when I told him this, I took advantage of the situation and had him add a bit of bonding to lengthen my front tooth which was dead and worn smaller than its neighbor from years of grinding. I hated the way my teeth looked—uneven and worn in a slope—and I’d been advised not to have my smaller tooth lengthened because I’d have broken it in my sleep with the grinding. The NTI was good for this, though I doubt it was an intended benefit when it was created. ;)

    I’ve been sleeping for two days without a guard at all. My old chipped one no longer fits me because of my altered bite due to the NTI, but it would be fine and even in its chipped condition has outlasted the NTI by years. I’ve been making a conscious effort to keep my mouth slightly open and protruding my tongue a bit over my bottom teeth. it’s not pretty but I have NOT been waking up with that horrible tight/vibrating jaw feeling that tells me I was clenching and grinding in my sleep.

    I’ve been grinding/clenching for decades. I have fissures in all of my teeth. My teeth are small and square and I’ve killed my front right tooth. I have had four guards over this time. The best one I had was a typical one that unfortunately got lost in my luggage in 2006. The next one (the chipped one I stil have now) just isn’t as good. so much depends on the dentist’s artistry and skill.

    The NTI in the end is just not worth it. I’m glad it allowed me to get my dead tooth re-bonded and cosmetically enhance my smile, but I doubt the dentist who invented it intended for it to move anyone’s teeth. And seriously, $425 for something that unintentionally alters your bite, falls out of your mouth in the middle of the night and splits in two within two years? Are you kidding me? Totally unacceptable.

    Thanks again for this site.

    • Welcome to the real world. You destroyed the hell out of your NTI but somehow its your dentist’s fault. Take responsibility for the seriousness of your condition. Its your body doing it not someone else. Your teeth DID NOT shift this is the relationship that your muscles want your jaws in! It is a result of the muscle fibers relaxing to their natural state from using the NTI.

    • Thanks for sharing about your experience with the NTI I bought one yesterday unfortunately before reading this and I woke up in pain with a headache, which I normally don’t get. Also my top teeth felt very weird pain like they we’re bring pushed :( wish I had read this sooner.

    • I have a similar story, but I paid $575.00 for mine. I grinded divots in my piece 2 times (would you belief he offered another bite block that i would have to pay for) and they refilled it. The dentist originally suggested the NTI because I had worn through a typical mouth guard and informed me that I would be unable to to wear down through the NTI. Well, I did wear it down and I found a way to reach my back tooth on one side. There are multiple issues but now the worst is that my bite is off and I’m getting some pain with chewing. I am going to speak to him about resolutions but I’m wondering if there are any lawsuits. There should be warnings, like possible loosening of teeth or change of bite this is serious. My jaw is messed up.

  3. I just began wearing my first NTI night guard about 3 weeks ago, after I suddenly began to suffer from headaches and jaw/neck/shoulder pains and suspected the pains were from grinding and clenching my teeth in the night. The pains went away almost immediately when I began wearing the NTI. However, now after wearing it for 3 weeks, I have developed a strange new issue with my mouth. It feels like there are small cuts on the inside of my lower lip, which I think may be from the two somewhat sharp ridges that run along the bottom sides of the NTI. I’m wondering if my dentist can “shave” them to make them less sharp. Also, I now get a strange burning sensation on my tongue when I smoke a cigarette, which has never happened before. So it seems logical to conclude that this is from the NTI. My dentist told me to only use regular hand soap to clean the NTI, but I later asked what I can use to disinfect it, and she said that occasionally soaking it in a bit of antiseptic mouthwash is okay. After doing some research online, I’ve found out that mouth guards can also sometimes cause fungus problems in the mouth, but my dentist said she sees no signs of fungus. So I’m really trying to figure out what exactly is causing these new mouth pains of mine (the burning tongue and feeling of small cuts inside my lips). I didn’t wear the NTI one night but noticed no difference the next day. Who knows. But I am thankful it’s helped the other pains related to the bruxism. Ah, my dentist also said that the NTI usually only should be worn for 6 months though they can sometimes last a year. Also, it should be worn at least 5 nights every week because our teeth are constantly moving very slightly and if you don’t wear it for a while, it might not fit when you do go to wear it again.

  4. Don’t shell out hundreds of dollars for a night guard!! The NTI’s work for some people but they are not for everyone and as they are still relatively new on the scene I would strongly urge you to go with a classic custom fit night guard, true custom fit night guards based on a dental impression of your teeth for way less than what the dental office is charging.

  5. I was fitted with an upper NTI about eight years ago. I have nighttime bruxism, migraines and clench 24/7. The NTI was a miracle for my migraines and my dentist said at the time it was the only FDA approved oral appliance. When I received my NTI I lived in an large city. It fit so tightly that I had to pull it off in the am with force and if claims are made it comes off it has not been fitted correctly. I swore by this appliance but recently it was lost. I never noticed any tooth movement or any problems other than if you have long nails it is difficult to remove. I have since moved to a small town (25,000 people) and not one dentist prescribes this unit and only one dentist even knew of it. The dentist that knew of it said it was a bad choice and to stay away from it for various reasons. I am now lost as to what to choose and have broken three teeth already from my bruxism costing me over $2500 in repairs. I am so confused from reading all the complaints and getting a speech from the dentist here to go “old school”. Why do urban dentists push it and non-urban are resistant? I loved the thing and thankfully my dental insurance paid half. I am just scared to commit now…go old-style and be disappointed or back to NTI and possibly realize my bite is ruined? Reading the internet has made me more confused than ever! If some dental experts would PLEASE give us sufferers good advice I would be a happy person. Back in 2011 a person could purchase the NTI straight from the company online and do a mail-order mold for about $475 which I found rather interesting but I greatly suggest not to do this!!! The NTI needs EXACT AND SPECIALIZED fitting and shaping and you need that from your dentist/hygentist. I guess I need somebody to decide for me. Curiously, what are the ballpark costs of the other “usual” appliances anybody? No dentist will even give a quote where I live without stammering about contingencies. Any comments please post.

  6. Hi Terri, I am not a dentist and I may confuse you more…but I am as confused as you are. I have been grinding since early childhood and am now 48 years old. I have jaw pain, severe migraines and neck pain. Funny, none of the hundreds of doctors and dentists through the years ever suggested my migraines and neck pain might be caused by the grinding. I have 6 cracked back teeth (didn’t know this until recently), and one was so badly damaged it had to be pulled. Another, I had to pay almost 2000.00 (after insurance) to have a post and crown put in.

    My old dentist (I switched about 8 months ago) said there is nothing I could do about the cracked teeth and did not recommend any kind of guard. My new dentist swears by the NTI and of course my insurance doesn’t cover it. His office charges approximately $470.00 for the NTI. I do not have the money to purchase it, nor do I have the money to pay for anymore ruined teeth.

    I have decided to try the GrindGuard N. Only because it is the only grinding guard I can find that uses the same theory as the NTI. That being using the front teeth for the guard. I like this idea a lot, since the over the counter mold-your-own guards gag me, make me salivate like crazy, and are very uncomfortable when I sleep. I have a very small mouth and no matter what I do to make them fit, they are too bulky. So, a guard that uses the front teeth is worth a try.

    I have ordered the GrindGuard N for 69.95 plus 7.95 shipping and handling. I cannot find many reviews on this, but it has a 30 day no question money back guarantee – so it’s worth a try. Best of luck to you and I will update on my satisfaction with the product.

  7. Lori, did you get the new guard? I want to know if it is working for you. I clench on whatever night guard I use and they all hurt my teeth. My sister who also clenched used one of these ones that sit only on front teeth and a few years later no longer clenches.

  8. I have been wearing an NTI device for about 6 months. It’s been wonderful for my bruxism. However, I woke up this morning and it’s cracked in half! I’m sure my dentist said it would never break or crack. I wore my regular night guard through in about 6 months. I pray they are guaranteed and will replace it for free. From what I’m reading here, it doesn’t sound promising.

  9. I just got an NTI. It is so tight on my front upper teeth that it hurts. In fact it hurt for almost 20 hours later. Also I am tasting a chemical leeching out of the NTI. I felt nauseous. I had to take it out. I also have veneers on my front teeth and while wearing the NTI I can hear the glue popping off. My veneers fell off twice before. So now after paying $400 for the device I am afraid to wear it. I also felt like it would change my bite. Has anyone had this happen to them. This device makes me really salivate that I can’t swallow well when it happens when I am trying to sleep. Plus I have trouble in the morning from salivating the night before.

    • Yes I have similar experience Lin my upper teeth hurt and felt like they were being pushed and I woke up in pain. I totally regret buying it.

  10. I used a NTI for 6 months and really liked it compared to the bigger ones. It was *supposed* to make me reduce bite force by forcing the front teeth to take the strain instead of the back ones.
    I had to stop using it because it was making me buck-toothed so got *another* custom guard.
    I have recently had huge success with a biofeedback device that is actually preventing grinding rather than just absorbing it.

  11. Love my NTI. No issues, no headaches, no cracked teeth, and no pain. The only thing I noticed was that it has a tendency to collect plaque. I solve this by soaking mine in vinegar and brushing it regularly. It is a god send, and I can wear it at work or driving, since I tend to clench my jaw at just about anytime during the day.

  12. I have been using this device for 3 or 4 years and have found it very effective in relieving the headaches. I also use a CPAP machine and have no problems using the 2 together. I have read the other emails and the dentist must fit the device properly for effect use. It has never fallen off but fits on snuggly. The inner layer has broken once but the dentist fixed it, however I do not remember the price, but it was certainly cheaper than the $600 Australian I had to for the device originally.
    That’s my only beef with this product, the cost. For 2 pieces of plastic $600 seems really excessive.

  13. I have been wearing the NTI device for many years now and it works for me. I clench my teeth at night but I don’t grind, this might explain why it works for some but not all.

    The device has relieved my migraines and neck pains and has not affected my bite. At worst, I sometimes wake up with sore incisives, probably on nights that I clenched more strongly. Very occasionally, the soreness has reached up between my eyes as if my sinuses had been inflamed.

    The NTI device has sharp edges and this can create irritation behind the lip were it sits and on the tongue from rubbing unintentionally. It can be helped by covering the edges of the device with resin.

    The inner layer is just resin. Overtime the resin breaks and my dentist has given me extra grains of resin so I don;t find myself in a lurch. I just mold it myself. It is super easy, it melts in warm water and can be molded by anyone at home. If it’s too tight or ill adjusted, you can drop your device in warm water and remold it on your teeth. You take it off carefully when it feels right and let it cool.

    I find the cost of the NTI device extravagant in this forum. I paid 300 euros in France for mine the first time but only 50 euros the following two times. It is really all that it si worth, it’s made of plastic!

  14. NTI’s should be taken off the market. After consulting a “specialist” for intense clenching and resulting TMJ issues I was sold an NTI as the supposed best solution for the problem. Never once was it mentioned to me that the potential existed for this appliance to move my teeth. I wore 3 NTI’s in as many years, as each would break after about a year of nightly wear. At $600 a pop, this wasn’t a cheap exercise. There was some reduction in my pain and headaches but still some tension in the joint itself as Im sure there was still some pressure exerted as I slept with it in, although less than without it. When the 3rd started showing signs of loosening I casually googled the appliance and stumbled upon the warnings of teeth moving and open bite developing as a direct result of wearing an NTI – went to the mirror and low and behold, my teeth had moved substantially but gradually enough that I hadn’t noticed it. Not once had the “specialist” I was seeing even suggested checking for any movements, he was happy just to pass a bill for another $600 each time. No follow ups required either, just to go back if I could move it out of my mouth with my tongue alone. Its been 6 months since I stopped wearing it. In that time I’m clenching more than ever, developed terrible sensitivity due to increased recession and I’m now staring down the barrel of periodontal work and orthodontics to deal with the fall out. DO NOT wear this device!!!!

    • I wonder if there has been a lawsuit. I have major issues from it too. I have also read things online and I was never warned about possible complications. If you find any info please share

  15. I am concerned about teeth moving, has anyone noticed the front two teeth that it goes on move back at all

    • I am looking at a minimum of $4000 in orthodontist bills to get my bite back, after 5 years of NTI. Unfortunately, it worked well for my migraines, so I’ll have to find a new solution.

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