Many things in this world require guarding. We have alarm systems in our homes to guard our belongings and family, alarms in our cars, we own guard dogs, some of us have guardian angels, and even the Queen of England has guards that won’t break rank (even when one their own passes out right in front of them). But there is one guard we haven’t mentioned yet, but it may be one of the most important of them all: mouthguards.
Losing a tooth or all of your teeth can be a traumatic thing for anyone and often changes one’s quality of life. When you are embarrassed about your smile, you tend to not use it as much and the effects of not smiling can change someone’s whole world. This is where mouthguards come in.
Here are two ways that mouthguards are protecting people’s teeth and saving their smiles:
Mouthguards are a standard piece of athletic equipment. If you are someone who participates in team sports or recreational activities, this piece of equipment is essential to protecting you from broken teeth and injuries. Mouthguards will soften and help cushion a blow to the mouth by elbows, hockey pucks, a perfect right hook, rogue baseball bats… you get the idea.
Contact sports have a higher-risk of injury causing collisions, such as boxing and football, but dental injuries can happen in non-contact sports as well, such as gymnastics and ice skating. Depending on your level of clumsiness, mouthguards may need to be worn during any physical activity (that rock might come out of nowhere while you are jogging, ya know?).
There are three types of mouthguards for sports:
- Stock – These are the over the counter mouthguards that are meant to be a “one size fits all” type of mouthpiece. They often tend to be bulky and don’t fit very well. This can make breathing difficult and they can easily pop out of your mouth
- Boil and Bite – You can find these at sporting goods stores and they tend to have a better fit than stock mouthpieces. These are boiled hot water to soften them, then inserted into the mouth where they will take the shape of your teeth
- Custom-fitted – this brings us to our second type and by far the best…
2- Custom-fitted Dental Mouthguards:
Many people suffer from bruxism, which is when someone experiences teeth clenching and grinding. Sleep bruxism is the most common. Many people will grind their teeth while they sleep without being aware that they are doing it. This can lead facial pain, tooth damage, and even insomnia.Custom mouthguards are made to fit perfectly in your mouth, so that don’t even know you are wearing them and they protect your teeth while you sleep.
There are two types of guards for treating bruxism: a soft rubber guard and a hybrid laminate guard with a hard exterior and a soft interior. The severity of your grinding will determine which is best for you. Long-term and untreated bruxism can destroy the hard protective enamel cover on your teeth, which can expose the pulp of nerves and vessels. When this level of erosion happens the tooth, or teeth, may need to be removed altogether.
Jaw muscles are cushioned:
It is a red flag of teeth clenching when you wake up with jaw pain. Our jaw muscles are incredibly strong (we love our steak), so you can see how clenching those muscles all night would cause discomfort and pain. Mouthguards provide a cushioning between the upper and lower teeth, which protect the jaw muscles from intense strain.
Our office will provide you with a solution to your problems, sports-wise or dental-wise. Whether you need a custom mouthguard for your upcoming Mixed Martial Arts fight or want help with nighttime (or daytime) bruxism, we are here to help. We will create a custom mold for your teeth that guarantees you a mouthguard with a perfect fit. Make an appointment today and stop the nighttime grinding.