Why might I need a mouthguard or night guard from my dentist?
Mouthguards often play a role in protecting the teeth and gums while, in some cases, helping patients with specific conditions such as TMJ/TMD and obstructive sleep apnea. Drs. Gary Scott and Allyson M. Grove of Caledonia, Michigan, may recommend mouthguards depending on certain circumstances that affect the patient. Let’s talk about the different purposes of mouthguards and oral appliances and how they can be used to improve oral health and wellness:
- Sports mouthguards. Patients who are involved in high-contact, high-impact sports, such as soccer and football, are advised to wear protective athletic mouthguards to reduce their risk of chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth caused by intense trauma or a blow to the chin, jaw, mouth, or face.
- Bruxism bite splint. Patients with bruxism, which causes teeth clenching and grinding at night, will want to consider using a mouthguard while sleeping to protect the teeth from damage. Patients with bruxism will often find that they are at a higher risk of issues such as worn or damaged teeth or dental restorations. Using a bite splint to stop grinding can help protect the teeth from bruxism at night.
- TMJ/TMD. Patients diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder will find that using a mouthguard can relieve them of extra pressure and tension in the jaw joint that can cause chronic headaches, migraines, and jaw pain. These are worn during the day or while patients sleep, depending on the patient’s condition and its severity.
- Obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder, often referred to by its acronym, OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is usually caused by a blockage in the airway, which might occur due to poor bite alignment or the tongue falling to the back of the throat. Wearing an oral appliance when sleeping can maintain open airways and often eliminates the need for a cumbersome CPAP machine usually recommended for treatment.
Schedule an appointment at Family Dentistry of Caledonia in Caledonia, Michigan, today!
Find out if you are a good candidate for mouthguards. Call (616) 899-4486 to request a visit at 9021 North Rodgers Court SE, Suite E in Caledonia, MI. Our team is here to educate you on mouthguards and other solutions to protect your smile and maintain both healthy teeth and gums for life!