A mouthguard is a protective device that covers your teeth and gums to prevent and/or reduce dental and facial injuries. Mouthguards are most commonly used in:
- Oral medicine to prevent tooth friction and abrasion for people who have grinding and clenching problems, also known as bruxism
- Oral medicine to reduce strain of the jaw joint in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Oral medicine as a night protector of thin porcelain veneers, bridges, etc.
- A wide variety of contact and non-contact sports (sportguards)
A nightguard is a type of mouthguard that is commonly used for the prevention and treatment of bruxism. Bruxism is a condition characterized by the grinding and/or clenching of teeth against each other. The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress and anxiety may be the trigger in many people. Bruxism is a quite common problem that affects about 40 million Americans, and this number keeps growing year after year.
People can grind and clench their teeth without being aware of it during both day and night, although sleep-related bruxism is often a bigger problem because it is harder to control.
Many people with sleep bruxism can be completely unaware of it for a long time or until complications develop, so it’s especially important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism to be able to recognize the problem in its early stages. Bruxism can wear down and destroy your teeth!
Patients suffering from bruxism may exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms, including:
- Flattened or eroded chewing (biting) surfaces of the teeth
- Increased tooth sensitivity and higher risk of tooth decay
- Damaged teeth, including fractures, chips, and cracks
- Broken dental fillings
- Injured gums
- Unexplained facial pain, earaches and morning headaches
- Jaw pain and tightness in your jaw muscles, which can be a sign of damage to the jaw joint
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, please, contact our office to make an appointment with Dr. Gerald A. Clark, DDS as soon as possible to find out if you can benefit from a nightguard or mouthguard. Wearing a custom-made nightguard or mouthguard can physically reduce the pressure on your teeth, gums and jaw by eliminating or reducing grinding and clenching, protecting your teeth from its damaging forces.
A professional nightguard requires a full impression of the patient’s mouth and is custom-made in a dental laboratory using bio-compatible materials to ensure a perfect fit and optimum comfort.
Remember that the early detection of a dental problem is the key to successful treatment!
A sportsguard is a type of mouthguard that is commonly used for the prevention of sports-related injuries. You have the power to prevent injury!
According to studies conducted by the American Dental Association, in the 1950’s, oral and facial injuries were responsible for 27-50% of all sport-related injuries depending on the sport, many of which would require lifetime dental rehabilitation. Since then mouthguards have become a standard protective measure in many contact and non-contact sports and help to dramatically reduce the number and severity of dental and facial injuries. One should always remember that total rehabilitation costs for a single knocked-out tooth is more than 20 times higher than the cost of a custom-made professional mouthguard!
Multiple studies have shown that mass manufactured “boil and bite” types of mouthguards offer minimal effectiveness due to having nearly no adjustment and trimming options and therefore inevitably poor fit, low comfort, and frequent interference with the athlete’s breathing and speaking ability.
That is why we always recommend custom-made professional mouthguards to our sporting patients to ensure a high level of protection and comfort for your teeth.
Custom-made mouthguards require a full impression of the patient’s mouth in order to create:
- A superior fit
- Maximum comfort
- Multi-layer protection for your teeth
According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented annually in our country by sports mouthguards. So, if you or a loved one are into sports and want to greatly reduce oral injuries or prevent them altogether, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a custom mouthguard fitting today!