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Mouth Guards

Mouth Guards
Sports Mouth Guards
It is estimated by the American Dental Association that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone.

A properly fitted mouth guard must be:

  • protective
  • comfortable
  • resilient
  • tear resistant
  • tasteless
  • have excellent retention and fit
  • cause minimal interference to speaking and breathing

Custom Made Mouth Guards
Custom made mouth guards are supplied by a dentist. Several questions must be answered before the custom mouth guard can be fabricated. These questions include those addressed at the preseason screening or dental examination.

Is the mouth guard designed for the particular sport being played?
Is the age of the athlete and the possibility of providing space for erupting teeth in mixed dentition (age 6-12) going to affect the mouth guard?
Will the design of the mouth guard be appropriate for the level of competition being played?
Does the patient have any history of previous dental injury or concussion, thus needing additional protection in any specific area?
Is the athlete undergoing orthodontic treatment?
Does the patient present with cavities and/or missing teeth?
Is the athlete being helped by a dentist and/or athletic trainer or by a sporting good retailer not trained in medical/dental issues?

These are important questions that sporting goods store retailers and the boil & bite mouth guards CANNOT begin to address.

Sleep Bruxism is a stereotyped movement disorder characterized by grinding or clenching of the teeth during sleep. The disorder has also been identified as nocturnal bruxism, nocturnal tooth-grinding and nocturnal tooth-clenching.

What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of Sleep Bruxism are tooth-grinding or tooth-clenching during sleep that may cause:

abnormal wear of the teeth
sounds associated with bruxism (It’s about as pleasant as fingernails on a chalkboard!)
jaw muscle discomfort

How serious is the disorder?
Some people have episodes that occur less than nightly with no evidence of dental injury or impairment of psychosocial functioning while others experience nightly episodes with evidence of mild impairment of psychosocial functioning. Yet others have nightly episodes with evidence of dental injury, tempomandibular (jaw) disorders, other physical injury or moderate or severe impairment of psychosocial functioning.

When someone with suspected sleep bruxism has a polysomnographic test there is evidence of jaw muscle activity during the sleep period and the absence of abnormal movement during sleep. Other sleep disorders may be present at the same time, e.g., obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome.

Damage to the teeth needs to be stopped. Pain and injury to the jaw may require surgery.

How is it treated?
If the damage is not advanced, your dentist can provide a mouthguard that fits over your lower set of teeth and prevents the two sets of teeth from grinding against each other.

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