A mouthguard is a removable dental appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth. They are designed to keep your top and bottom teeth apart. A mouthguard may be recommended if you play sports that could cause you to sustain a facial or dental injury. Your dentist might also suggest a mouthguard for dental and jaw conditions.
How a Mouthguard Works
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and then send them to a lab. The dental lab will make a custom-fit mouthguard just for you. Mouthguards are typically made of a plastic or resin material and fit over your upper teeth. If you wear braces, you might also get a guard for your lower teeth.
Conditions That Necessitate a Mouthguard
If you have chronic jaw pain or wake up frequently with sore jaws, a mouthguard may help to relieve your symptoms. You may also be prescribed a mouthguard if you have temporomandibular joint disorders. Mouthguards are used to help prevent you from clenching your jaws together or grinding your teeth, a condition called bruxism, especially at night.
Benefits of Using a Mouthguard
Over time, frequent grinding can wear down your dental enamel, damaging your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard at night can help to prevent this damage without restricting your breathing or speech. A mouthguard may also help to reduce other bruxism symptoms, such as tension headaches. The guard can be easily cleaned between uses with a toothbrush and warm water. You can also bring your mouthguard with you to your six-month checkups, and the dentist will clean it for you.
Call the office of Donald Tormey, DDS, today to learn more about how mouthguards can protect your teeth and jaws.