Are Mouthguards Important?
Posted on: Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Hockey players aren’t the only ones who can benefit from wearing mouthguards. These dental appliances come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles for the purpose of protecting your teeth and reducing certain chronic conditions like TMD and sleep apnea. Whether you are an avid athlete or a victim of chronic jaw pain, a mouthguard is an important part of your ongoing oral health.
Mouthguards Prevent Injuries in Sports
A mouthguard cushions the teeth and gums in a protective material. All athletes, especially those in contact sports like boxing and football, should use mouthguards while playing and training. Mouthguards can prevent serious dental traumas:
- Broken teeth
- Tears or punctures in the lip
- Injury to the tongue, jaw, or cheeks
Mouthguards are especially important to athletes who have braces or fixed bridge work, since any mouth injury can damage the brackets or cause a painful collision between braces and soft oral tissues.
Night Guards and Bite Splints
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition defined by breathing interruptions during sleep. It causes excessive snoring, daytime fatigue, and oxygen shortage in the brain and body. If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to heart disease, chronic daytime fatigue, hypertension, and many other ongoing problems.
Fortunately, a special mouthguard can be used to reduce mild sleep apnea. Instead of just covering the teeth, a sleep apnea mouthguard pushes the lower jaw and tongue forward. This helps keep your airway open while sleeping, in turn preventing breathing interruptions and its associated symptoms.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a dangerous habit, but most people don’t even realize they are vulnerable to the mashing, clenching, and gnashing actions that can wear down their teeth. The results of bruxism are painful and ongoing, like jaw pain, worn enamel, flattened teeth, and recurring headaches.
The most direct way to resolve bruxism is the use of a mouth guard. The Comfort H/S™ mouthguard, for instance, uses a soft polyurethane inner layer that rests comfortably along the teeth and gums, and a hard, durable copolyester outer layer to alleviate grinding and clenching, custom-made to fit your unique bite using materials that are BPA-free.
This mouthguard’s careful design can resolve the pain and damage caused by bruxism, especially severe tooth, jaw, and facial pain.
Use a Custom-Made Mouthguard
If you think a mouthguard can improve your quality of life and protect your mouth, Dr. Beata Carlson and Dr. Amber Gilton of Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry are here to help.
Call (727) 888-6523 to make an appointment in Clearwater, Florida today and learn more about the customized mouthguards available to protect the beauty and function of your smile.