You might think that custom mouthguards are only necessary for athletes playing contact sports such as football or lacrosse. Athletes involved in such sports should consider their mouthguards essential equipment, but even non-athletes can benefit from wearing mouth protection in certain situations.
Here are three reasons that you or a family member could be a candidate for a custom mouthguard.
You Play Sports
When you consider that different ways that oral trauma can occur in athletics, you realize that mouthguards aren’t just for contact sports. That’s why you’ll see some of the top professionals in basketball, soccer, and even Nascar sporting custom mouthguards. An injury can occur when the mouth is struck, when the teeth strike each other, or when the teeth damage soft tissue in the mouth.
It doesn’t matter if the impact comes from an opponent, the ground, or the force of your own movement. An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard.
Mouthguards work by absorbing an impact and redistributing that force. They cushion blows and provide a protective barrier between the surfaces of your teeth.
While any protection is better than nothing, off-the-shelf varieties are far less effective than custom mouthguards we can provide. A perfect fit improves protection and compliance, and we can even customize them with colors and logos!
You Grind Your Teeth at Night
Bruxism is a condition in which you clench or grind your teeth. Nighttime teeth grinding is relatively common, but, being asleep, most sufferers don’t realize they’re doing it. That doesn’t mean there are no symptoms.
Nocturnal bruxism often causes jaw/neck pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, and a scalloped tongue. People with bruxism are also more likely to snore and have sleeping disorders.
If left untreated, persistent grinding can wear down enamel, gums, or even fracture teeth. All of this damage can result in expensive complications and dental problems that could have been prevented.
Most cases of bruxism can easily be treated by wearing a night guard while you sleep. The night guard is specifically designed to provide a cushion for chronic grinding. This cushioning reduces muscular tension (preventing pain) and protects the surfaces of your teeth.
Our practice can provide you with custom-fit night guards that are comfortable and durable. A perfect fit ensures that the mouthguard stays in place, which encourages compliance.
You Clench Your Jaw When Stressed
While bruxism is usually associated with sleeping, it can also happen during the day. Daytime bruxism is usually triggered by stress.
Some people have developed a habit of clenching their jaw during stressful activities. Do you tense up and grind your teeth while driving or exercising? Night guards aren’t just for nighttime; consider wearing one during these activities to protect yourself from years of damage.
Around 10 percent of bruxism patients are chronically grinding their teeth, day and night. It would be fair to say that in most of these cases, it’s not the activity that’s stressful — it’s life. It’s a physical symptom of a psychological problem.
It’s important to work on developing healthy outlets for stress. In the meantime, see our Bedford dental practice so we can evaluate the risk to your oral health. We may not be able to eliminate your stress right away or change the habits of a chronic teeth-grinder, but we can make you a custom night guard that will mitigate the effects of bruxism.
~Dr. Marea White