The journey to maintaining strong, healthy teeth often requires proactive measures. One highly effective tool to protect teeth is the humble mouthguard. Originally designed for athletes, mouthguards have evolved into a versatile preventive dentistry treatment.
Today, mouthguards aren’t just for athletes – they’re for everyone! If you’d like to learn more about these protective devices, contact Thomas F. Brown, DDS. You can reach our dentist in Naperville, IL, at (630) 369-3120 to request information, appointments, and more.
In today’s blog, we explore the top 5 ways to use mouthguards to safeguard your teeth.
Sports Enthusiasts’ Shield
Mouthguards have long been a staple for athletes participating in contact sports. Whether it’s football, hockey, or boxing, the risk of dental injuries is reduced significantly while wearing a mouthguard.
These protective devices act as a cushion to absorb and evenly disperse impact forces that could otherwise lead to chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth.
Bruxism is a tooth-destroying condition in which people grind their teeth, usually while sleeping. There is evidence to suggest that up to 40% of children experience the condition. This figure declines with age, dropping to roughly 16% among the adult population.
For those who suffer from sleep bruxism, a mouthguard can offer relief and protection. These custom-fitted night guards provide a cushion between the top and bottom teeth, preventing direct contact and reducing the impact of grinding.
By absorbing the forces generated during bruxism episodes, these devices not only protect teeth from excessive wear but also contribute to a more restful night’s sleep.
Jaw Joint Support
Temporomandibular joint disorder (frequently called TMJ or TMD) is a condition that affects the hinge joint of the jaw and surrounding muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.
Fortunately, a mouthguard is a great way for TMJ sufferers to get relief. TMJ mouthguards work by helping align the jaw, reducing strain on the joint and surrounding muscles.
By providing support and stability, TMJ mouthguards offer relief from pain, headaches, and jaw stiffness. As a result, individuals can go about their daily lives with greater comfort.
For those undergoing orthodontic treatment, mouthguards play a vital role in protecting braces and other orthodontic appliances.
Accidental impacts during sports or everyday activities can damage braces, leading to additional orthodontic work and extended treatment times. An orthodontic mouthguard fits around braces, providing a protective barrier that minimizes the risk of damage.
In addition to protecting teeth, mouthguards can help patients address snoring issues.
Snoring is a common occurrence characterized by ultra-relaxed oropharyngeal muscles, which block proper airflow while sleeping. Snore guards, worn similarly to night guards, work by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue to keep the airway open.
While dentists primarily design these devices to reduce snoring, they can also contribute to better oral and systemic health. Indeed, snore guards promote proper breathing at rest, which reduces the damaging effects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Comfortable, Custom-Made Mouthguards in Naperville, IL
Incorporating mouthguards into various aspects of life can significantly contribute to the protection of teeth and overall oral health. From athletes to TMJ sufferers, these incredible devices offer patients a comfortable, economical, and effective way to preserve their smiles. Want to learn more? Contact Thomas F. Brown, DDS, at (630) 369-3120 or request an appointment online here anytime!