Bruxism, Nightguards and Mouthguards We know that many of our patients work hard to have strong, healthy teeth, but there can be more issues than just decay and bacteria. Teeth can become worn or even break. Mouthguards, nightguards and sportsguards are all very similar in design and purpose; to protect your teeth. The outer hard layer of enamel on our teeth is strong, but still subject to breakage. Cracked or fractured teeth can be both painful and costly, requiring tooth extraction or other dental procedures. At The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, we can help protect your teeth with a customized acrylic guard to fit your mouth.
West Hartford, CT
A mouthguard is the general term for this protective device. It provides a cushioning between your teeth to protect them from breakage or wear. A mouthguard can even decrease the strength of an impact and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of concussion. Mouthguards fall into one of two categories: a nightguard to protect teeth from bruxism, or a sports guard to protect teeth while engaging in physical activities.
You can damage your teeth without realizing it from a condition known as bruxism. Sometimes referred to by its action, bruxism is a clenching or grinding of teeth most often while you sleep, though it can also be done subconsciously while awake too. We often look for the signs of bruxism during your dental exam and cleaning. If you suspect bruxism, our team at The Elmwood Dental Group LLC can look for the signs and make recommendations to help, in some cases a simple nightguard can save you time, money and pain.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Bruxism is often a condition that affects you while you sleep. This means that patients may not always be aware that they have it. There are signs and symptoms of bruxism that you can spot including:
||Jaw Soreness: Bruxism displays as either clenching the jaw tightly or gnashing or grinding of the teeth. This means that patients often wake with a sore or tired jaw.
||Facial or Mouth Aches and Pains: The motions of bruxism often leaves a patient with headaches, toothaches, some even indicate ear or eyebrow pain.
||Broken or Flattened Teeth:Bruxism can cause a lot of tooth damage. There can be hairline cracks or large fractures, and teeth having a sanded down appearance.
A nightguard is an acrylic device that you can wear while you sleep. We can customize it to fit your mouth. Nightguards can be purchased in a store, but they are a one size fits all, meaning often bulky and uncomfortable, meaning patients often stop wearing it. A customized nightguard will fit comfortably and do the job intended.
We want you to enjoy sports and other athletic activities, but taking your teeth into consideration can save you huge amounts of time and money spent on emergency dental care. Oral health injuries are the number one reported injury while engaging in athletic activities. Wearing a sportsguard can protect your teeth while also providing a layer that can reduce the level of impact and even reduce the severity of a concussion. When it comes to protecting your mouth while being active, a sportsguard is an essential piece of gear.
In general, there are three types of sportsguards:
A custom fitted sportsguard is customized in our office. Overall, they are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, patients are more likely to wear them because they fit better.
Stock sportsguards are purchased at any sporting goods store. They are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. However, they come in a one size fits all, meaning they often don't fit well. Kids particularly find them to be bulky and difficult to breathe with, meaning they take them out as often as possible or don’t wear them at all. Sportsguards can’t protect you in your bag.
Boil and Bite:
Boil and bite sportsguards can be bought at many sporting goods stores and they offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors because you customize it yourself at home. If you do it correctly, this option can be beneficial.
Call us Today!
If you or a family member is starting a new sport, or has been complaining of a sore jaw, a mouthguard may be the answer. Call our office today at (860) 331-8748 to schedule your appointment and talk to Dr. Gomes about your needs.