Mouthguards For Sport
THE LOWDOWN ON OCCLUSAL GUARDS
Mouthguards For Sport or Occlusal guards are a simple, and yet effective, dental aid used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching when you sleep, or from injuries whilst playing sport. They can also help reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea.
The guards are usually made of soft plastic and there are three main types on the market:
- Stock occlusal guard. These are the most widely available and cheapest option, but as one size fits all, they can often be uncomfortable and not very effective.
- Mouth formed ‘boil and bite’ guards are a good middle ground as they are molded to your teeth so a better fit.
- Custom-made occlusal guards offer the best protection as the dentist makes an impression of your teeth and gums, so your guard is personalized to your bite and designed for the function it is needed for.
They all vary in price and comfort but essentially should be – comfortable, resilient, fit properly, easily cleaned and not restrict your breathing or speech.
SLEEP ISSUE NIGHTGUARDS
Both teeth grinding and clenching are part of a condition called bruxism. This is a sleep-related disorder which can cause problems such as tooth pain or sore gums. Wearing a nightguard when you sleep can help keep your top and bottom teeth separate so they don’t damage each other. A custom-fitted nightguard is usually recommended for bruxism.
Sleep apnea causes a person to temporarily stop breathing whilst asleep. Although serious cases of sleep apnea will sometimes require a machine to help keep airways open, mild to moderate sleep apnea can usually be treated by a dental nightguard to push your lower jaw and tongue forward to help keep your airway open.
Snoring is caused by the vibrations of soft tissue in your upper airway. So, if snoring is interfering with your daily life, or indeed, your partners (!), talk to us about nightguard options. Although there are over the counter guards available, custom-made nightguards are more effective as, like the guards for sleep apnea, will focus on pulling your lower jaw forward to keep airways open.
SPORTS OCCLUSAL GUARDS
We like to keep fit and stay healthy, but did you consider that it might be wise to also protect your teeth if you are involved in any type of sports involving impact, contact or collision.
According to the American Dental Association it is estimated that between 20 and 25 million youngsters take part in some type of competitive sport whilst sporting accidents are said to be responsible for 36 per cent of unintentional injuries in youngsters and 10 to 20 per cent are maxillofacial injuries.
So, if you are one of the 18 million Americans who takes part in karate or one of the 11.5 million roller-skaters, it might be advisable to look at an occlusal guard to protect your gorgeous smile!
Guards are one of the least expensive and most beneficial items of sporting kit available. In much the same way you wear a helmet to protect your head from trauma, these guards offer the same protection for your mouth, gums, cheeks, and jaw.
An occlusal guard can protect you from a broken or chipped tooth, displaced teeth or even having a tooth or teeth knocked out. Damaged teeth do not grow back and although there is treatment to repair the teeth, such as dental crowns, veneers, or worst-case scenario, implants, remember, prevention is always better than cure!
If you have suffered from a dental trauma or need emergency treatment you can find more information here or just give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.