Protecting Your Teeth. As part of your complete dental examination, Dr. Rodriguez will evaluate both temporomandibular jaw joints (TMJ) and each tooth surface to observe for signs of distress and address any problems as needed to keep to your teeth and jaw joints healthy and pain-free.
Night Guards vs. Sports Mouth Guards
Night guards (or mouth splints) are custom-fitted plastic appliances that are worn over the teeth to protect them from damage due to clenching or grinding (a condition known as Bruxism).
Bruxism is usually associated with stress, but can be related to sleep disorders or a poor bite (often the result of multiple missing or crooked teeth). Because it usually occurs during sleep, it can go unnoticed for years.
- Common symptoms of bruxism include headaches, tired or sore facial muscles upon wakening, and cracked or sensitive teeth.
- Extensive grinding can cause severe wear of tooth enamel, making the teeth appear shorter and flattened. Less enamel also means increased tooth sensitivity.
- Left untreated, bruxism can eventually result in serious damage to the teeth that may require extensive restorative procedures to repair.
- Night guards (or bite guards) are sometimes recommended as part of jaw muscle-joint therapy to treat dysfunctional jaw joint movement.
Sports guards are flexible plastic appliances worn over the teeth and gums while playing sports to help prevent broken teeth and jaw injuries that can occur from blows to the face or mouth.
As with helmets or other safety gear, protecting your child's smile is important to maintain their health as they grow up. While sports guards are not intended to function as a dental therapy, they can prevent the type of injury to the mouth that can lead to serious and costly dental treatment.
- According to the American Dental Association®, more than 5 million teeth are knocked out in sporting activities each year. Dental injuries are the most common type of oral-facial injury sustained during participation in sports; incidents typically occur in youth, high school and collegiate athletic activities.
- We can fabricate a custom sports mouthguard for your child in two visits, and recommend that they bring it along to their routine dental check-ups so we can check for fit and wear.
Custom-Made vs. Store-Bought
Custom-fitted dental appliances, either for therapeutic or preventive purposes, are always preferrable to over-the-counter products. Custom-made mouth guards are typically fabricated from higher quality materials and will provide a better fit, thus better protecting the teeth and jaw.
Take care of your smile. Contact Us to have a custom-fitted mouth guard designed for you or your child.