Mouth Guards – Plano, TX
Protecting Smiles From Injury and Excessive Wear
You’ve probably seen a mouth guard at some point in your life. Whether it was when you were playing basketball or football, or when you stayed the night at a friend’s house and saw them insert one before going to bed because they had problems with teeth grinding. As you age, it is natural for your teeth to experience normal wear and tear because of eating, chewing, talking, etc. However, at Valley Dentists of Belchertown, we use this method of treatment to help individuals who need to protect their smiles from injury and excessive wear. If you feel you could benefit from a mouth guard but aren’t sure where to start, contact us to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Belchertown today.
What Are Mouth Guards?
Do you play sports? Are you engaged in outdoor activities that could potentially put your mouth at risk for injury? Do you grind or clench your teeth? What about problems with TMJ? If you answered “yes” to any of these scenarios, you could benefit from using a mouth guard.
Depending on your individual needs, there are different types of mouth guards in Belchertown, and it will be up to Dr. Medaugh to examine and evaluate your smile and determine which type of mouth protection you need.
What Are Sports Guards?
Is your favorite sport soccer or basketball? Maybe it’s neither and you prefer hockey or football. No matter the game, if you want to protect your mouth from damage or injury, a mouth guard should be worn while playing sports. Both kids and adults face the potential of seriously injuring their mouths when balls or pucks come hurling toward their face. Some of the most common sports-related dental injuries include:
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Broken or knocked-out teeth
- Busted lips or lacerations to the soft tissues inside the mouth
- A fractured or broken jaw (severe cases)
The Academy of General Dentistry suggests a mouth guard can go so far as to even protect from a concussion.
Another important note is if you or your child wear braces and play sports, a mouth guard is absolutely necessary. Broken or busted wires can cut and damage your soft tissues and teeth, resulting in delayed treatment. You can expect this type of mouth guard to be a bit wider than your average mouthpiece because it provides more protection for your braces, teeth, and gums.
What Are Night Guards?
When it comes to a night guard, there are several reasons you might wear one:
If you need to wear one because you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth, it is important that you start treatment as early as possible. Why? Because the long-term effects of teeth grinding include increased sensitivity and tooth decay. The more you grind your teeth, the more the enamel will begin to wear away and expose the dentin layer of your tooth. A custom-made night guard can act as a barrier between your teeth, protecting them from further wear or breakage.
Individuals who have problems with moving their jaw may find a night guard is beneficial in relieving pain and increasing functionality. When your jaw muscles are under constant stress and tension, it can cause problems for your teeth. Wearing a night guard while you sleep will help your jaw muscles to recover and protect your teeth from excessive wear. If necessary, you may also need to wear it during the day to help keep your jaw muscles relaxed and reduce discomfort from an improperly aligned bite.
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you will find CPAP therapy isn’t your only option for treatment. Oral appliance therapy is designed to help you get the rest you need without the bulky hardware. These small oral appliances known as mandibular advancement devices, look like a mouth guard and gently shift your jaw forward. This movement helps to keep your airway open while you sleep. Depending on your individual needs, they’re also made to reposition the tongue to prevent collapse and keep the airway open.
What Are the Long-Term Benefits of Protective Mouth Gear?
- Reduces the amount of wear and tear to your teeth
- Protects your teeth from damage or injury caused by sports, teeth grinding, and TMJ
- Enables better sleep for individuals suffering from sleep apnea and other similar disorders
- Keeps more money in your pocket because you won’t need additional dental work to repair broken or worn teeth