What are Mouthguards?
A mouthguard is a type of oral appliance that is worn to prevent the effects of bruxism, or tooth grinding. Grinding can lead to a variety of intraoral problems like cracking, fracturing, TMJ-related pain and tooth loss. Mouthguards act as a cushion between the upper and lower teeth, which can help prevent the effects of grinding. They can be worn during the night while you’re sleeping or throughout the day as needed. Many people need a bite guard when they are placing sports to prevent injury to the teeth.
Why are Mouthguards needed?
Mouthguards are often needed if a patient is grinding their teeth. Most often, tooth grinding happens during the night when you’re not even aware of what you’re doing. Some of the most common signs of nighttime grinding include:
- Flat-looking teeth
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Painful or sensitive teeth
- Cracked, broken or fractured teeth
- Morning-specific headaches
What makes you a good candidate for Mouthguards?
If you suspect that you grind your teeth, you’re a good candidate for a mouthguard. Mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth and prevent further damage to them. If you aren’t sure whether or not you grind your teeth, we can check them during your next appointment. It’s often obvious if a patient grinds their teeth by the way that the teeth look during an examination or when having x-rays taken.
What happens when having a Mouthguard made for you?
You will come into our office and have impressions taken of your mouth. The impressions will be used to create a brand new mouthguard for your teeth. In order for the guard to be useful, it should be worn on a nightly basis. The appliance may need to be replaced after a few years as it begins to wear down. You can wear your mouthguard during the day as needed or if you play sports. It is important to clean your mouthguard daily to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
If you think you might benefit from a mouthguard and are ready to have a new appliance made just for you, call our office now and we will work to get you in for an appointment.