At Gainesville Family Dentistry we offer mouthguards and nightguards.
Clenching and grinding can cause pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other surrounding structures of the jaw, and can cause jaw joint disorders, headaces, neck pain, jaw pain, ear pain, tense muscles, and excessive wear on the teeth. Collectively, these symptoms are referred to as "TMJ" problems (temperomandibular joint). A large number of people who clench also tend to grind their teeth. Grinding is when you slide your teeth over each other in a back and forth, sideways movement. Often the grinding is a subconscious behavior that is not realized by the individual. If not treated, excessive grinding can wear down your teeth. The cause of grinding (bruxism) is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role.
Stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat bruxism and reduce the symptoms, but a dental night guard is the most commonly used treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, retainer-like, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom arch. It is designed to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding by providing a protective cushion between the upper and lower teeth. A night guard can be a simple, and affordable solution for protecting your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of bruxism. When properly made, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.
For contact sports we recommend a custom-fitted sports mouthguard. A mouthguard can prevent damage to the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue by cushioning blows to the face and neck. Custom-fitted dental mouthguards are designed to cover all back teeth and cushion the entire jaw, and can prevent concussions caused by blows to the chin. Mouthguards fit securely in the mouth, so they don´t interfere with talking or breathing.
To create a custom-fitted dental mouthguard, the dentist first makes a cast model of your teeth. This model is then used to create a perfectly fitted custom mouthguard.
Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:
- …any sport where contact is a possibility.
Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips. Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.
Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard. Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection. They are also usually ill-fitting and uncomfortable.
For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your dentist for a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth. It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth. The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).
See your dentist today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.