Mouth Guards & Bruxism
What are mouth guards?
Mouth guards are thermoplastic appliances that can be worn by an individual to guard his/her mouth against tooth injury. The development of mouth guards resulted from extensive injuries during participation in contact sports. Usage of mouth guards has produced a dramatic decrease in the incidence of injuries to the orofacial complex.
How is the mouth guard made?
An impression of your teeth is generally taken and sent to the lab. A transparent removable device is made which fits snugly on to the teeth like a protective covering.
What is a mouth guard made up of?
A mouth is made of polyvinylacetate-polyethylene or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer; polyvinylchloride, acrylic resin; or polyurethane.
Is it necessary to wear a mouth guard while playing sports?
The American Dental Association recommends the use of mouth guards in 29 sports/exercise activities. Mouth guard properties included shock-absorbing capability, hardness, stiffness (indicative of protective capability), tensile strength and tear strength (indicative of durability).The risk of an orofacial sports injury was 1.6-1.9 times higher when a mouth guard was not worn.
Mouth guards made at the dental office are the most highly recommended mouth guards used for successful prevention of orofacial and dental injuries. It has higher retention, comfort, fit, ease of speech, resistance to tearing, ease of breathing as well as good protection of the teeth, gums and lips. The shape and surface of the mouth guard which encloses the teeth, the gingival and the hard palate will vary from person to person.
What is bruxism?
Some people have a subconscious habit of grinding their teeth at night called bruxism. This a sleep-related movement disorder that can cause a variety of problems, such as tooth wear, tooth pain, jaw pain, and sore gums.
What are the signs of tooth wear?
You could have wear facets on the teeth or spaces between the teeth. Also some of your teeth might be painful or sensitive to hot and cold. A typical sign of bruxism is headache on getting up in the morning or soreness in the jaw muscle. This could also lead to pain and clicking in the joints present in the jaw.
How can a mouth guard help?
Wearing a mouth guard while you sleep can help keep your top and bottom teeth separated so they don’t damage each other from the pressure of grinding or clenching.
How can I make my mouth guard last a long time?
- Brush and floss your teeth before putting in your mouth guard.
- Rinse your mouth guard with cool water before putting it in and after taking it out.
- Avoid using hot water, which can change its shape.
- Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean it after each use.
- Regularly check for holes or other signs of damage, which means it needs to be replaced.
- Bring your mouth guard to any dentist appointments you have. They can make sure it still fits properly and works.
- Store your mouth guard in a hard container with some ventilation to protect it and allow it to dry out between uses.
- Keep your mouth guard out of reach of any pets, even if the guard is in a container.