Would a mouthguard help you? In today’s blog Dr. Thomas L. Brown explains various types of mouthguards, who needs them, and how they work.

In short, a mouthguard is an oral appliance that fits into the mouth, over teeth. Some are custom-fitted, some are adjustable, and others are one-size-should-fit-most. Dr. Brown prefers custom or adjustable mouthguards because patients are more likely to wear an oral appliance if it feels comfortable.

Night Guards for Bruxism Treatment

A nightguard, or night guard, is a mouth guard intended to stop bruxism–better known as teeth clenching and grinding. Stress, TMJ disorder, tired jaw muscles, sleep issues, or medications can cause bruxism at night. Some people grind their teeth during the day, when they concentrate or feel anxious.

In most cases, night guards are custom-fitted to the patient, for optimal comfort. Patients simply place the guard in the mouth to keep top and bottom teeth from touching. When teeth can’t touch, bruxism is impossible. 

Untreated bruxism can lead to:

  • TMJ disorder
  • Cracks, chips, crazing in teeth
  • Tooth wear and resulting sensitivity
  • Bite imbalance
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain

TMJ Bite Guards for Headache and TMJ Pain Relief

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. TMJ disorder occurs when one or both jaw joints become painful due to inflammation, irritation, and being improperly seated. The condition is usually caused by: stress or anxiety, teeth grinding, heredity, injury, or arthritis. Patients may wake with a headache or sore jaw, though a dentist may be the first to diagnose TMJ disorder.

Wearing a bite guard overnight or, in some cases, during the day can keep the jaw in a balanced, comfortable position. Over time, bite guard therapy can “reprogram” jaw muscles to hold the jaw in this, the proper, position. Furthermore, a bite guard also prohibits bruxism and relieves the painful, nagging symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Protective Mouth Guards for Athletes

Sportsmen and women of all ages should wear a comfortable protective mouth guard when engaging in play. Dr. Brown can make a custom-molded mouthguard in our office, or you can opt for an over-the-counter boil-and-bite guard. Sports mouth guards protect teeth and gums from damage when a blow to the face is sustained. Remember, too, that Dr. Brown sees emergencies. If you or your child needs emergency dental care, just call our main line at (630) 296-9916.

Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today!

The dental office of Thomas F. Brown, DDS is located in Naperville, inside the Hawthorne Square Shopping Center, and caters to patients from Naperville, Lisle, Woodridge, Bolingbook, Warrenville, and surrounding communities. We want to keep your smile, teeth, gums, and jaws safe, and your oral function comfortable. With general, restorative, cosmetic, prosthetic, and emergency dental care, Dr. Brown and our team can care for most dental health issues in our comfortable, high-tech office.

Book your visits as early as 7:30 am and as late as 7:00 pm, weekdays. As a courtesy, our insurance specialist will submit your dental insurance claim and accept your copay at the time of your visit. We accept CareCredit and LendingClub, two respected lenders that offer no- and low-interest patient financing with short and longer-term loans. Call us today at (630) 296-9916 to schedule your visit.