What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a soft or hard layer of plastic worn between the teeth when sleeping or playing contact sports. Custom made in the office, they fit much better than the over the counter generic fit mouthguards commonly bought at sporting goods stores or the local drug store. Material type is determined by individual needs and severity of the problem.
Mouthguards protect teeth from clenching or grinding while asleep. A mouthguard covers either the upper or lower teeth, placing a cushion between the teeth and protecting them from the abnormal forces created by nighttime grinding. Sports mouthguards are custom made to cover and protect teeth and lips from blows to the head or face during high contact sports. They act as shock absorbers, helping prevent broken teeth and split lips.
What are the signs of clenching and grinding?
- sore jaw
- jaw clicking or popping
- frequent tooth aches
- sensitive teeth
- facial pain or soreness
- worn or cracking teeth
- tissue marks from pressing into your tongue
- trouble sleeping
If you start to notice any of these problems, please discuss this with your dentist. Most people clench and grind at night and are unaware they do so.