It’s important to protect your teeth from damage and decay with oral habits such as brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to the dentist. But if you are involved in sports or suffer from teeth grinding, it’s also important to keep your teeth protected during games and at night. At Dentistry of the Oaks, we are proud to offer night guards and mouth guards.
Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, can have serious consequences if left untreated. The constant grinding motion that occurs during sleep can cause tooth fractures and a loosening or wearing down of the teeth. It can even lead to tooth loss. The jaw can also be affected, getting misaligned and causing changes in facial appearance. Fortunately, there is a way to protect your teeth even as you sleep. Night guards create a barrier between the top and bottom lines of teeth, preventing the surfaces from grinding together and protecting against chips and cracks. They also relieve the tension that can occur in the jaw muscles.
Oral injuries are more common than many people might think. Contact sports such as football, hockey, boxing, and basketball have an especially high risk for mouth injuries, but even non-contact sports like gymnastics and skateboarding have a level of risk. Possible injuries include chipped or broken teeth, lip and cheek injuries, fractured jaw, root damage to the teeth, and fractured dental work (such as bridges or crowns). To prevent serious injuries, it’s highly recommended that mouth guards be worn at all times – during practice as well as games.
There are three types of mouth guards available: stock, boil-and-bite, and custom-fitted. Stock and boil-and-bite are relatively affordable and offer a certain level of protection, but the most effective and highest-recommended type is a custom-fitted mouth guard. Because they are custom-made, they provide the best fit for the mouth and therefore the best protection.