When you hear the word mouthguard, what is your first thought? For many people they automatically think of specific sports where mouthguards are needed. While this is definitely a great reason to use a mouthguard, there are many more uses for them than just sports.
Along with protecting teeth from impact and potential trauma during sports, mouth guards also provide great protection for teeth grinding or even to preserve dental work that was recently done. There are different types of mouth guards for different scenarios, but they all have the same common goal…to protect your teeth!
Bruxism, also known as the grinding of teeth /clenching of the jaw, is one of the most popular reason for your dentist to recommend a custom mouth guard. This type of mouth guard is typically worn at night when you subconsciously grind and clench your teeth.
Did you know that you can exert up to 5 times greater force on your teeth when grinding than when just chewing food?
The night guard helps evenly distribute biting forces, absorbs the impact of the friction of grinding, and acts as a barrier to trauma between the lower and upper teeth. While the main concern of grinding your teeth is damaging the teeth themselves, you can also experience headaches, jaw pain, and many other problems. These are a lot of the symptoms people may experience who say that they have TMJ.
Usually, when someone says that they have ‘TMJ’, they are referring to a TMD. or Temporo-Mandibular Disorder/Dysfuntion. Basically, this means that there is some disharmony in the chewing complex. That could be in the teeth, the jaws, the muscles responsible for chewing or, rarely, in the TMJ (jaw joint) itself. Quite often it is a problem with the occlusion, or how the teeth come together. It may be a result of some recent dentistry, misaligned teeth or several other less common problems. Mouthguards can help in these situations but they usually require addressing the imbalance first.
Another reason your dentist may suggest to get a mouth guard made is if you had extensive dental work done. Like in teeth grinding, the mouth guard acts as a barrier. In this situation, it is used to prevent chipping of anterior veneers or wearing down of dentures held in by dental implants.
If you believe you are grinding your teeth at night, call our office today at 610-525-5497 to schedule an appointment to get a custom mouthguard made for you!
Also, if you are near our Bryn Mawr dental office and would like a highly trained dentist to examine how your teeth come together and make sure that you are living with a harmonious manner please call us and set up a complimentary consultation. 610-525-5497