Mouthguards and Nightguards in Post Office Square, Boston, MA
Custom-designed nightguards and mouthguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night. A similar guard, called a sports guard, can protect your teeth while you engage in professional or recreational sports activities.
Why Your Dentist Recommends a Mouthguard
Bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth) can lead to a plethora of problems, including:
- Chipped teeth
- Cracks and cracked tooth syndrome
- Fractured teeth
- Strained, sore jaw muscles
- Chronic headaches
- Decreased flexibility of the facial muscles
The causes of bruxism include frustration, stress, and anxiety. It can also be a coping mechanism or habit while in deep concentration.
It is not uncommon for people with bruxism to experience other sleep disorders, such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Clenching and grinding can occur during the daytime or at night. During the day, you might have a bit more awareness of it, but many people are not aware they do this until it is pointed out to them. In the latter cases, they can practice mindfulness so that they become more aware of when they clench and grind. Increased awareness can help them reduce their daytime bruxism habit.
It is difficult, almost impossible, to do this at night, though, simply because it happens when people are in a deep sleep. They cannot stop themselves from bruxing when they are in this phase of sleep. Therefore, they need a solution that will protect their teeth and jaw joint while they sleep.
How a Custom Nightguard Can Help
A nightguard fits onto the biting surfaces of your upper or lower teeth. In some cases, your Post Office Square dentist will recommend wearing the mouthguard 24/7 for a period before graduating to wearing it solely at night. In other situations, you will just need to wear it at night.
The guard protects your teeth by taking the force of the bite pressure from your clenching and grinding, which eases the pressure on your teeth, thereby protecting them from chipping and cracking.
Nightguards protect the jaw by easing the extension or overuse of the facial muscles. Depending on the type of guard your dentist recommends, you might get a guard that repositions the jaw and pulls it forward for more comfort while you sleep.
The Importance of Sports Guards
A custom-made sports guard protects your teeth while you engage in sports. You may have noticed more and more athletes in professional sports (including football, soccer, basketball, and baseball) wearing sports guards. Thankfully, because of this, more people (particularly kids and teens) are willing to wear sports guards.
A sports guard is an essential part of any athlete's protective gear. Protecting your teeth is just as important as protecting your head, knees, shins, elbows, and wrists.
It has been estimated that approximately three million teeth are knocked out every year because athletes are not wearing a sports guard while engaged in play.
A sports guard may not guarantee a player will not experience dental damage. However, it can significantly lower the risk by cushioning a blow to the face, which minimizes the risk of:
- Chipped and broken teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Soft tissue injuries (face, tongue)
- Jaw injuries
How Are Mouthguards, Nightguards, and Sports Guards Made?
Nightguards are made of hard or soft plastic, depending on your needs. We will take an impression of your teeth, which is used by a lab technician to create plaster models of your teeth. The plastic is formed into the model to create a custom guard.
In most cases, you can choose from a variety of styles and colors for your guard. On average, nightguards last between three and 10 years.
Take Proactive Steps Now to Protect Your Teeth
Custom mouthguards can prevent pain and protect your teeth and jaw joint before you experience painful, debilitating symptoms. Talk to your Post Office Square dentist about mouthguards, nightguards, and sports guards for you and your family now to prevent problems down the road.
Think you might need some protective mouth gear? Contact our team at (617) 426-6011 to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs.