If you play contact sports or suffer from chronic teeth grinding, it's important to take extra steps beyond brushing and flossing to protect your teeth. Mouth guards can provide a level of protection for the teeth, preventing dental damage caused by regular teeth grinding and sports-related injuries. Combined with other general dentistry treatments, mouth guards can help maintain the health and beauty of your smile. To find out if you're a candidate for mouth guards, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Pittsburgh dentist Timothy Sluser.
Candidates for Mouth Guards
There are different types of mouth guards designed for different patient needs, but mouth guards are essentially protective trays worn over the teeth during sleep or while playing sports. Store-bought mouth guards are typically suitable for those who wear mouth guards for sports, but a custom mouth guard will offer more protection and fit more comfortably. Patients who require mouth guards for medical reasons should have their mouth guards custom-made by a dental professional.
Mouth guard candidates include anyone who participates in activities that put them at risk of facial injury, like contact sports or chronic teeth grinding. Mouth guards can also alleviate the symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, making those with TMJ disorder good candidates for mouth guards. If you associate with one or more of the following, you may be a suitable candidate for a mouth guard:
- Those who play contact sports: Many athletes are at constant risk of facial injury, especially those who play contact sports like hockey, football, and boxing. Wearing mouth guards while playing such sports can help lessen the impact facial injuries can pose to the teeth, reducing the risk of fractures or chips.
- Those who “trick ride:”Although skateboarders and rollerbladers could benefit from wearing mouth guards any time they ride, those who regularly practice tricks, like riding down stair rails, are at particular risk of dental injury. Even those who like to do tricks on bicycles should consider wearing mouth guards.
- Those who suffer from chronic teeth grinding: Long-term teeth grinding poses major risks to oral health. If left untreated, chronic teeth grinding can lead to dental fractures, enamel loss, and the teeth may be worn down. Mouth guards can help protect the teeth from the damaging friction of teeth grinding.
- TMJ disorder sufferers: TMJ disorder is a condition in which the joint of the jaw bone doesn't properly move. It is often characterized by a clicking sound when the jaw moves up and down, and the condition can lead to painful symptoms. Mouth guards can help alleviate the symptoms of TMJ disorder for many sufferers by alleviating stress and strain on the jaw.
Are You a Candidate for a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards have helped many patients maintain a healthy, happy smile. Don't leave your teeth at risk of costly dental damage. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sluser to find out if a mouth guard is right for you. We look forward to working with you soon!