When Is It Necessary To Get A Mouth Guard?

When Is It Necessary To Get A Mouth Guard?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

A mouth guard is a plastic device you wear at night to protect the mouth, teeth, and jaw. Picture the cleaning trays that are fitted over your teeth at your dentist’s office when you get them whitened. That’s a very similar feeling to wearing a protective mouth guard that is either bought in a standard size or customized to fit your unique dental profile.

So, when is it necessary to wear a mouth guard? Here are a few reasons why your doctor may prescribe custom-fitted mouth guards.

You Grind Your Teeth

A mouth guard may be prescribed to prevent damage to the mouth and jaw structures caused by teeth grinding (bruxism). While you may still grind your teeth, the mouth guards act as shock absorbers, preventing your teeth from touching, and thereby, preventing your enamel from wearing down and your soft tissue structures from deteriorating. Patients who wear a mouth guard to address teeth grinding report relief from the pain associated with bruxism.

You Snore

Snoring is usually caused by vibrations in your upper airways. With a mouthguard, your upper respiratory airways remain open due to the mouthguard pulling your lower jaw forward and having it sit low, thereby reducing snoring. There are anti-snoring mouth guards available on the market, but the most effective ones are customized. If you sleep with a partner, they will be very grateful!

You’ve Been Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you suddenly stop breathing at night as you sleep. Sufferers usually sleep with their mouths wide open, which is harmful to dental structures. Dry mouth as a result of your mouth hanging open can lead to a host of problems, including cavities and tooth decay. While a mouth guard is not a treatment for sleep apnea (which is commonly treated with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine), it can prevent oral complications that result from sleep apnea. 

You Play Sports

A mouthguard is also used by athletes to cushion the blow that may cause injury to teeth and the jaw. This is especially true for athletes who play contact sports, such as football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and field hockey. In fact, mouth guards are mandatory in collision sports, where a huge percentage of injuries are oral injuries. Tooth fractures, tooth intrusions, fractured roots, and temporomandibular joint dislocations are the most common oral injuries associated with sports. 

Get Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards in Eugene, OR

At 360 Dental, we can provide you with custom-fitted mouth guards to address various health issues if our assessment tells us you can benefit from it. Our dental team can also address oral issues as a result of teeth grinding, sleep apnea, and sports. Let us know what your concerns are, and our dental assistants and hygienists will make sure you receive the treatment you need. 

To schedule a consultation, call 360 Dental at (541) 689-1645 or request an appointment now. In our clinic, we provide a relaxed and welcoming environment and make sure you are comfortable every step of the way.