Mouth guards are one of the best options available for protecting a person’s teeth while they are playing sports. While this is a popular use for dental mouth guards, they actually have other uses as well. Mouth guards can be worn to prevent dental injuries that can result from sports and bruxism. At Dr. John F. Rink’s Charleston cosmetic dentistry practice, mouth guards can be custom made to protect a patient’s teeth during athletics, prevent teeth grinding, and help in the treatment of TMJ disorder.
Dental Mouth Guard Uses
The three most popular uses for dental mouth guards are sports, prevention of teeth grinding, and treatment of TMJ disorder.
- Sports: Players who wear mouth guards while playing sports have added protection from injury to the mouth, face, and head. All athletes should wear a mouth guard to prevent injury or reduce the severity of injuries that do occur.
- Prevention of teeth grinding: If you suffer from sore jaw muscles, pain in your teeth, or often wake with headaches, you should ask your dentist to check for signs of teeth grinding. If you are grinding your teeth, Dr. Rink may recommend that you wear a mouth guard at night. This can keep your teeth in the correct position while you sleep and prevent your teeth from grinding together.
- Treatment of TMJ disorder: TMJ disorder can cause a lot of discomfort for patients. While there is no proven cause of TMJ disorder, many dentists believe that teeth grinding and a misaligned bite contribute to the problem. This is why they often prescribe the use of a mouth guard when patients are complaining of symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. Along with this treatment, Dr. Rink may recommend to his patients in Charleston restorative dentistry treatments such as dental implants or dental crowns to repair your bite and aid in the treatment of TMJ disorder.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are three basic types of mouth guards available:
- Pre-made mouth guards:You can find pre-made mouth guards for purchase at most sporting goods stores. These pieces can work well for sports but they are not shaped to your teeth so they are unlikely to keep your teeth aligned properly. They also are uncomfortable so most patients would not want to wear them while they sleep.
- Mouth formed mouth guards:These mouth guards and formed to your teeth after you purchase them. The two types of mouth formed mouth guards are acrylic and thermoplastic. While these mouth guards are a better option than a pre-made mouth guard, they also have drawbacks. They may lose their shape, do not always taste great, and can be quite bulky.
- Custom made mouth guards:The most comfortable and well fitting mouth guards available are those that are custom made. Dr. Rink will provide you with a mouth guard that has been molded to fit your teeth. These mouth guards can be comfortably worn while you sleep and will not ever lose their shape.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are a teeth grinder, suffer the symptoms of TMJ disorder, or are in need of protection during sporting events, schedule a consultation with Dr. John F. Rink to learn more about the uses of dental mouth guards.