Nightguards and Mouthguards

A mouthguard is a flexible appliance made out of plastic that is worn in athletic and recreational activities to protect teeth from trauma. To protect teeth from injuries, the use of a mouthguard in a variety of sports activities is highly recommended.

Ideally, a mouthguard should:

  • Protect teeth, soft tissues, bone structure, and TM joints.
  • Diminishes incidence of concussions and neck injuries.
  • Have high absorption and power distribution throughout expansion.
  • Be comfortable and fit to maxillary arch.
  • Remain securely and safely in place during action.
  • Allow speaking and not limit breathing.
  • Be durable, resilient, tear resistant, odorless and tasteless.

There are different types of mouthguards:

  1. Stock mouthguards: The lowest cost option is a stock item, which offers the least protection. A stock mouthguard is not considered acceptable as an facial protective device. Limited sizes and inappropriate fit could be a disadvantage.
  2. Custom-made mouth protectors: The best choice is a mouthguard custom-made by our dental office. It provides the best protection reducing the chance of concussion, cuts, dislocation of the jaw and loss of teeth or fracture. It fits comfortably and is less likely to interfere with speech and breathing.

 

WHAT IS A NIGHTGUARD?

Many patients don’t realize they grind their teeth until someone else tells them. However, some patients do experience discomfort such as jaw pain and headaches, which can be signs of teeth grinding. In addition, the dentist may notice wear on the teeth if the patient has been grinding his or her teeth for a long period of time.

A night guard is a mouthpiece worn through the night to prevent teeth grinding. It is custom-fitted to your mouth to provide a cushion between the top and bottom teeth and prevent them from forcefully sliding against each other. It is designed to be as comfortable as possible, much more so than the products available over the counter in stores which are of generic sizes and fit could be questionable. For patients who grind their teeth, it is absolutely crucial to start wearing a night guard as soon as possible. Patients who grind their teeth are at risk of chipping a tooth, wearing the teeth down, or injuring the jaw.

A night guard can eliminate the possibility of such damage occurring. In addition, wearing a night guard can make nighttime more pleasant for a teeth grinder’s spouse or company, as the sound of teeth grinding can be quite disruptive.