A mouthguard is a dental appliance designed to protect your oral cavity in some way. At Premier Dental of Ohio, we make mouthguards to prevent damage from teeth clenching or grinding and to protect against sports injuries. A properly fitting mouthguard can save you thousands of dollars in future dental treatment.
People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep, a condition called bruxism, have a high risk for dental problems. Bruxism leads to cracked teeth, gum recession, flattening and shortening of the teeth, muscle pain, headaches, and TMJ problems. A dental mouthguard for bruxism aims to separate the jaws, reduce muscle force, decompress the jaw joints, and eliminate any friction between the upper and lower teeth.
If you are clenching or grinding your teeth, your dentist will see evidence inside your mouth. Some patients experience the pain of headaches or TMJ disorder. Others have no idea that they have this dangerous habit. By wearing a mouthguard while you sleep, you can alleviate those painful symptoms and prevent damage to the teeth that requires expensive treatment to repair.
Athletes in contact sports are at particularly high risk for injuring their teeth, jaws, and the soft tissues of their mouths. Wearing a mouthguard during these high-risk times provides multiple benefits. The separation of the upper and lower teeth with a rubbery, cushion-like material creates a shock absorber effect for the jaw joints. This reduces the risk of jaw fractures and dislocation of the discs in the TMJs.
The coverage of the teeth by an athletic mouthguard also prevents chipping, cracking and dislodging of teeth. Injuries to the teeth require expensive dental treatment to repair, so wearing an athletic mouthguard saves you both time and money. As the mouthguard fits between the teeth and lips, cheeks, and tongue, it also protects against cuts and bites of the soft tissues. This reduces the need for stitches when there are injuries to the face.
Custom-Fitted vs. Over-the-Counter Mouthguards
There are many options for mouthguards on the market, and it can be tempting to grab a cheap, boil-and-bite mouthpiece from a sports retailer. The important thing to understand is that while these will provide some level of protection, a custom-fitted appliance, made for your own teeth, will always provide the best.
Professional custom mouthguards will last longer due to their higher strength of material. They are also more comfortable, which makes you more likely to wear them. Ask your Premier dentist which option will provide you with the best protection while fitting your budget.
An underbite is a complicated orthodontic issue that is relatively rare. The prevalence of this type of bite varies by ethnicity, with people of Southeast Asian descent having the highest rate at over 15%. It is a difficult orthodontic problem to treat, and it can cause many complications over the patient’s lifetime. If you or a loved one suffers from an orthodontic underbite, read this article for more information.
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