Mouthguards are a great method of protection when it comes to oral care. They are not something to be worn 24/7, but rather, are typically used either for sleeping or for sports activities. They help to provide added protection from impact, prevent grinding, eliminate clenching, and are a preventative measure as well as a solution, depending on individual needs.
Often, participants of a high-impact sport like football or rugby will choose to wear a mouthguard during games or practices. If they are hit by an opponent, do a header, or are hit with the ball, the mouthguard can help to prevent broken teeth or jaw damage, as well as protect from other injuries to the mouth.
In contrast to athletes, some patients find themselves grinding their teeth in their sleep, which causes a wearing-down of the teeth as well as headache, tense jaws, and pain. Other patients might clench or tighten their jaw while they sleep, which also causes similar issues with pain and headaches.
Nighttime mouthguards protect the teeth by adding a barrier between the upper and lower sets, so they don’t touch and grind while you sleep. It can lead to a better night's rest that leaves you feeling more rested and refreshed, can help to eliminate headaches caused by grinding or clenching in your sleep, and can alleviate pain and tension that results from grinding as well.
You might have noticed that generic, unfitted mouthguards are available at your local drug store. These are often not specialised for individual needs, and they are not fitted to the individual’s mouth. In fact, having a poorly fitted or designed mouthguard can cause more damage to your oral cavity.
By working with your dentist to find the right mouthguard for you, you can ensure that you are finding a good quality mouthguard to use, that you’re using the right mouthguard for your needs and that your mouthguard isn’t going to do further damage.
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