Mouth guards are usually associated with athletes. While watching a sporting even such as a basketball or football game, it is quite common to see a player spit out a mouth guard during a time out. While mouth guards are essential protection for players of sports, they may also be used to protect the teeth in a person who suffers from teeth grinding and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders. If you play sports, grind your teeth, or are experiencing TMJ pain, you are likely an ideal candidate for a mouth guard. Children, teenagers, and adults can all benefit from wearing mouth guards.
Sports: If you engage in sports such as hockey, basketball, football, gymnastics, baseball, boxing, soccer, and volleyball, then you are a candidate for a protective mouth guard. Mouth guards are vital in protecting the teeth and jaw from blows to the face and head. Through the added support and padding provided by mouth guards, the risk of lost or broken teeth, as well as lacerations and other injuries to the mouth, are significantly reduced in the wearer. Patients who engage in any activity that may result in trauma or injury to the head or face should consider using mouth guards.
Teeth Grinding: One of the most damaging conditions seen by our Boston cosmetic dentist is teeth grinding. Teeth grinding, especially chronic teeth grinding, typically occurs during sleep and can be extremely damaging to the teeth. In severe cases of teeth grinding, fractures can occur within the teeth. Teeth grinding can also lead to loose teeth, and even to tooth loss. If left untreated, wearing down of the teeth to stumps may even occur. For our patients in Boston, dental crowns may be recommended to correct damage resulting from teeth grinding. While damage that results from teeth grinding can be quite severe, mouth guards may be used to prevent further damage from occurring. If you grind your teeth, you are most likely an ideal candidate for a mouth guard.
TMJ Disorders: TMJ disorders can be quite painful. TMJ disorders can cause headaches, hearing loss, and damage to the teeth and jaw. Symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain when chewing, headaches, pain in the jaw or face, and limited jaw function. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, you may be an ideal candidate for a mouth guard.
There are three main types of mouth guards: off the shelf, boil and bite, and custom. Because off the shelf mouth guards are pre-formed they are relatively inexpensive, but can be uncomfortable to wear. Boil and bite mouth guards are exactly as their name implies. You boil the mouth guard and bite it to shape it to your teeth. Because of this, boil and bite mouth guards are more fitted to the teeth than off the shelf mouth guards. While boil and bite mouth guards are superior to off the shelf mouth guards, the only way to truly ensure that your mouth guard fits you perfectly is to choose a custom mouth guard. The comfort and protection that custom mouth guards provide cannot be matched by off the shelf or boil and bite mouth guards.
For our patients in Boston, mouth guards are an excellent way to prevent damage to the teeth and jaw. To determine whether you are an ideal candidate for a mouth guard, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dental Associates of New England today.