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Mouthguard Candidates: Athletes, Weekend Warriors, and People Who Grind Their Teeth

Craig Goldin DDS Nov 14, 2014

A football playing teen with a mouthguardThe Cosmetic Dentistry Institute in Troy goes beyond mere aesthetics. We believe in totla wellness too, which is why in addition to the latest cosmetic treatments, we also offer advanced restorative dentistry to improve dental health. We can also take preventative and protective measures with your smile, and one way to do this is to offer certain patients mouthguards.

What is a mouthguard in basic terms?

In basic terms, a mouthguard is a protective retainer that is worn over the teeth. With a mouthguard in place, potential injury to the teeth, gums, and even the tongue is prevented or significantly minimized, as stress on various structures of the mouth is reduced.

There are many different applications and uses for mouthguards, so let's cover a few of the basics.

Mouthguards to Protect Athletes from Harm

When an athlete participates in contact sports or combat sports, a mouthguard is essential. As noted above, the mouthguard will prevent the athlete from experiencing major harm to the teeth, tongue, and gums should he or she suffer a heavy blow to the face or head. A mouthguard may mean the difference between a lost tooth and a smile that's intact.

Common activities that necessitate a mouthguard include:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Lacrosse
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Mixed martial arts (MMA)

Is a custom mouthguard a good idea for an athlete?

Yes.

While stock mouthguards are available at the local sporting goods store, many athletes would actually benefit from getting a professional mouth guard that is customized to his or her bite. The customized, professional mouth guards are ideal since they are more comfortable and will not distract the athlete from the task at hand.

We're not saying that a custom mouthguard can mean the difference between winning and losing, but the comfort of a custom mouthguard can give you one less thing to worry about as you concentrate on giving your all.

Mouthguards to Help Treat Tooth Grinding

Another common use for mouthguards is to treat tooth grinding (bruxism). This is a condition that is caused by stress, malocclusion (i.e., crooked tooth alignment), or a combination of both. The tooth grinding takes place at night, with the patient biting, clenching, and shifting his or her teeth in such a way as to cause jaw pain, tooth aches, headaches, and other issues.

The mouthguard for bruxism (sometimes called a bite guard or a night guard) helps prevent contact between the upper dental arch and the lower dental arch. By doing this, stress on the teeth is reduce and the side effects of grinding teeth are minimized.

Mouthguards to Help Treat TMJ Disorders

One potential problem caused by tooth grinding is a TMJ disorder. This refers to issues that alter the proper function of the temporomandibular joint, the place where the mandible and the cranium meet. The stress and pressure placed on the jaw by all of the tooth grinding can lead to locking, popping, and clicking of the jaw.

The mouthguard not only prevents contact between the upper dental arch and lower dental arch, but it also reduces the stress on the TMJ, helping prevent major pain and dysfunction of the joint.

In the case of both tooth grinding and TMJ disorders, the mouthguard is just one facet of the overall treatment plan to address these health matters. Your full treatment plan can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation at our practice.

Schedule a Consultation for a Custom Mouthguard

If you would like to find out if mouthguards are an ideal solution for you and your dental health needs, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. We at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute will be more than happy to help you in making the best possible decisions for your dental health and wellness.

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Troy, MI 48083

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