Who Makes a Good Candidate for a Mouth Guard?
Your teeth are used every day, and it is important to protect them so that they can continue to function and look their best. If you or your children are at risk for tooth damage due to a medical condition or recreational activity, your dentist may recommend using a mouth guard.
At our Long Island dental office, Garden City Smiles, Dr. Louis J. Buono and our staff offer a wide range of restorative dentistry options, including preventative treatments such as custom-fit mouth guards. But how do you know if a mouth guard is right for you?
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Mouth Guard?
The purpose of a mouth guard is to protect your teeth from damage caused by trauma, bruxism, or gradual wear and tear. There are several reasons why your dentist may want to fit you with a custom mouth guard. These reasons include:
- Athletic Activity - If you play a sport, especially high-impact contact sports like ice hockey, football, or soccer, you are at a higher risk for a dental injury. A bad fall, or a collision with equipment or another player on the field, can easily crack a tooth or knock it out altogether. But athletics doesn’t have to come at the expense of your dental health. A good mouth guard that fits well can protect teeth from impact and keep them safe.
- Bruxism - One of the most common medical reasons that would lead a patient to wear a mouth guard is a chronic condition called bruxism, more commonly known as chronic teeth grinding. This condition can be brought on by stress, jaw issues, or myriad other factors. Many patients do not even know that they suffer from bruxism until they start experiencing symptoms like persistent jaw pain. Over time, the constant friction of teeth grinding can wear away at the enamel on the flat base of your teeth and cause serious damage such as cracks and bite misalignment. By preventing contact between your upper and lower teeth and giving them a plastic base to move against, a mouth guard at night can prevent further dental damage while relieving further jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms.
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder - Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder, is a painful condition characterized by misalignment, pain, and stiffness in the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. In severe cases, TMJ disorders can lead to neck and shoulder stiffness, ear issues such as dizziness or hearing loss, or chronic severe headaches, including migraines. In a number of cases, TMJ dysfunction can be attributed to teeth grinding. In these instances, wearing a mouth guard at night can be an extremely effective treatment.
Learn More about Mouth Guards Today
Are you suffering from tooth erosion or jaw pain? Is your child interested in pursuing a sport in school? Now is the time to ask your dentist about mouth guards. Contact Dr. Buono at Garden City Smiles to schedule an appointment and learn more about mouth guards today.