Mouthguards including night guards and sport guards made to the highest standards at Erin Dental Care can be your best protection while sleeping or on the field.
Clenching or grinding your teeth while you're asleep is pretty common among children and adults. But when it starts to cause headaches, tooth or jaw pain, or damage to your teeth, it's time to talk to your dentist about bruxism. A common treatment for sleep bruxism is a night guard. Learn more about sleep bruxism and night guards to protect your teeth.
Maybe this has happened to you: you wake up and immediately feel a headache. Or, you've noticed your jaw is a little sore, or perhaps you've even had chipped or lose teeth. These are common signs of bruxism—or teeth grinding. Thankfully, your dentist and dental hygienist are trained to look for signs of bruxism and help you with treatment. They may recommend a mouthguard to wear at night, an easy way to protect your teeth from damage from grinding and clenching.
Nightguards have many names. They are also called mouthguards, occlusal guards, dental guards, bite splints, or nocturnal bite plates. They are retainer-like soft or hard plastic pieces that cover either the top or bottom set of teeth. Nightguards are popular treatments for sleep bruxism. Nightguards cushion your teeth from the force of clenching and prevent the teeth from grinding together, preventing headaches, damaged teeth, and inflamed gums.
Common Signs of Sleep Bruxism
Talk to your dentist about the following signs and symptoms:
* Chipped teeth
* Waking up with headaches
* Temporomandibular Joint Disorder—inflammation of the jaw due to clenching
* Taking antidepressants with paroxetine
* Chronic grinding
Sleep Bruxism in Children
It is common for children to grind their teeth at some point, especially children under five. Most children outgrow teeth grinding without treatment, with no harm to their teeth. Still, your dentist may recommend treatment depending on the severity of the bruxism.
Customized Night Guards from Your Dentist
Nightguards are also available from your dentist. Customized guards tend to be of a higher quality and are custom-made to your teeth. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, then send the resulting mold to a dental laboratory. This facility will create a custom-fitted night mouthguard for you. Your dentist will check the mouth guard's fit and make any necessary adjustments before you take it home. Typically a customized night guard is a more expensive device than ones purchased over-the-counter. Still, it can be more comfortable to wear.
The Benefits of custom-made Mouthguards for Athletes
Most people wouldn’t imagine playing (or letting someone they love play) a high contact sport without full head gear including a helmet and a mouthguard. From little league to the pros, safety is top priority for those hitting the field. But what about those athletes that play less intense sports? I am talking about the gymnasts, skateboarders and volleyball players who each have an equal chance to have an injury to their mouth as someone who plays football.
Mouthguards protect against injury to the teeth and also against injury to the jaw. The shape of each person’s mouth and teeth are different, so it makes since that a one-size-fits-all approach to a mouthguard is not going to give you the protection you need. In fact, a poorly fitted mouthguard can cause even more damage when hit with an intense force. Properly fabricated, custom-fit mouthguards play a significant role in not only preventing dental injuries and injuries to the jaw, but also in reducing concussions, pulpal injury and the loss of teeth. Mouthguards are used to relieve the stress concentrated on the teeth by absorbing the shock vibrations that cause injury.
Let’s take a look at the basic functions of the Mouthguard:
- Mouthguards prevent cuts and bruising during impact.
- Mouthguards prevent tooth fractures or dislocations by cushioning the teeth.
- Opposite teeth are protected from contact with each other.
- The lower jaw is protected so impact does not fracture or damage the bone.
- Mouthguards help reduce injury to the brain. Without a mouthguard, the force that hits the mouth can cause the jaws to violently jar together which can result in a concussion.
- Mouthguards are used as a preventative measure against neck injuries.
- Mouthguards help athletes feel more comfortable and protected.
Sports injuries can cause lasting damage. It goes beyond just the possibility of losing a tooth. Some jaw and neck injuries can prevent an athlete from ever playing sports again. This does not just pertain to professional sports. High school and college football players are just as likely to obtain a facial injury as an NFL player. Getting a serious injury, like a concussion or broken jaw, during these years can drastically change a person’s future. It is estimated that an athlete has over a 50 percent chance of receiving an oral injury during their career in sports. A properly fitted mouthguard is going to reduce the opportunity for injury and also the severity of injury.