Millions of Americans suffer from sports-related dental injuries and bruxism (teeth grinding). Here in Burbank, we’ve served several athletes who required mouthguards. Our team also has helped patients who have suffered from nighttime teeth grinding. If you need either a night mouth guard or sports guard, Dr. Vazira can be of assistance.
A night guard is a device made up of plastic that is fitted to the top and bottom teeth in an effort to prevent teeth grinding. Although a night guard is often used at night, it can be used while one is awake. Alternative purposes of night guards include:
- Protection from teeth deterioration
- Better breathing
- Alleviate jaw pain
- Prevention of jaw muscle spasm
- Reduce grinding during sports activities
- Lessen grinding in stressful situations
Full and Half Guards
Full guards rests in between the top and bottom rows of teeth, while partial coverage guards cover specific teeth that are affected by bruxism. Also, the former does not modify the bite of the user, while the latter may slightly affect the bite of the person.
Stiff and Soft
Soft mouthguards are made of thick poly-vinyl material while the hard mouthguards are made of harder materials (usually heat-cured acrylic). People with severe cases of bruxism may use the hard mouthguards given their durability. Individuals who have mild degrees of teeth grinding are advised to use the soft guards because they are sufficient remedies.
Custom Mouthguards vs. Over-the-Counter Guards
There are a wide variety of mouthguards that are available at retail stores. However, they are designed as “a one size fit all” solution. Although this solution may be suitable for occasional use, such as when playing a sport, over-the-counter mouth guards are usually unsuitable for prolonged use. Simply put, they are not designed to the shape and size of your mouth. Most patients find them to be uncomfortable and stiff during sleep.
Our customized mouth guards are designed from molds taken from your mouth. Consequently, the mouthguard is an exact fit. You will be given the option of using a top or bottom guard to maximize your personal comfort. Additionally, we can adjust the thickness of your mouthguard to match the severity of your teeth grinding.
How to Take Care of a Mouthguard
Cleanse your guard with cold water after every use. Also, it is best to thoroughly clean it at least once per week. To prevent bacteria from growing, make sure that the guard and container are dry before sealing. Lastly, take the guard to the dentist regularly to assure that its condition is still well.
How Athletic Guards Reduce Injuries
The majority of orofacial injuries result in dental trauma. While extensive tooth and gum damage is part of the risk of dental trauma, there are more severe consequences. For instance, dental traumas are frequently associated with concussions. Athletic mouth guards (that are customized for the athlete) significantly reduce tooth damage, tooth loss, and impact severity.
The more exact the fit of an athletic guard the better protection it provides. When teeth are not allowed to shift individually, they are more likely to stay in tact during impact. At Tatiana Vazira DDS, we use state-of-the-art dental tech to acquire the exact measurement of your mouth. Even the smallest details like individual tooth size and bite orientation form a part of our process to create your athletic guard.