You practice good oral hygiene. You attend every dental appointment without fail. It only makes sense to protect your smile from damage. At our Richardson, TX practice, we offer a wide range of dental services, including cosmetic, restorative, and preventative treatments.
Part of preventative care is protecting your investment. That is why we offer custom oral appliances to cushion and protect the teeth from damage. Today, our doctors will discuss mouth guard candidates and explain who can benefit from these appliances.
Custom Mouth Guards: An Overview
A custom mouth guard is designed to fit snugly but comfortably over the teeth, protecting them from damage. To craft a custom appliance, your doctor will first take impressions of your teeth. These will be used by our skilled lab technicians to fabricate your new mouth guard.
There are several different types of mouth guards available, which we will explore in the sections below.
Mouth Guards for Athletes
A large percentage of dental trauma is caused by sports-related injuries. Therefore, athletes of any age should wear a mouth guard anytime they are on the court or field. You may wish to consider a custom mouth guard if you participate in:
- Mixed martial arts
Athletic mouth guards can last for several years with proper care. However, it is a good idea to have your dentist evaluate your oral appliance at the beginning of every season.
Mouth Guards for Bruxism
Bruxism, a condition characterized by chronic teeth grinding or clenching, can occur in times of stress. It can also be caused by an improper bite, jaw joint issues, or other dental complications. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to tooth erosion, bite problems, mobility, and even tooth loss.
A custom mouth guard can slightly separate the upper and lower dental arches, protecting the teeth from damage, including chips, cracks, fractures, and more.
In most cases, patients simply wear their mouth guards while they sleep. If bruxing occurs during the day, your dentist may recommend wearing it then, as well.
Mouth Guards for TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder is a painful condition in which the disks that cushion the joints erode over time. This can be caused by several factors, including trauma, bite problems, and arthritis, among other things. The ligaments and muscles around the joints become sore and inflamed, resulting in pain, lockjaw, or clicking and popping.
A custom mouth guard can protect the teeth and place the lower jaw in a more favorable position. This reduces the amount of stress placed on the jaw joints and alleviates a number of symptoms associated with TMJ disorder.
Store-bought vs. Custom Mouth Guards
Several over-the-counter mouth guards are available for purchase in pharmacies, grocery stores, and department stores across the country.
To be sure, something is better than nothing when it comes to protecting the teeth. However, many patients find store-bought appliances to be bulky and cumbersome. As a result, they do not wear them as often as they should.
Custom mouth guards are designed to fit comfortably and are fabricated according to your own unique dental anatomy.
Contact Texas Dental Center
If you are interested in learning more about custom mouth guards, schedule a visit at our practice today. Call us or contact us online anytime.