Mouthguards do more than protect your teeth from damage. Because they keep the lower jaw from hitting the upper jaw, they can also prevent fractures, concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, and neck injuries. If you are concerned about potential oral damage, speak to a dentist about using a mouthguard—they come in stock, boil-and-bite, and custom options to give you the best fit. Take a look at the guide below to see if you're a candidate.
What Instances Call for Mouthguard Use?
Contact Sports Play
If you or a family member engages in contact sports such as football, ice hockey, or boxing, discuss mouthguard options with your dentist. Other activities also require mouthguards to avoid serious injuries to the teeth as well as the gums, lips, tongue, and jaw. Martial arts can include mouth contact, as can gymnastics, skateboarding, in-line skating, bicycling, and volleyball.
If you snore or have sleep apnea, a mouthguard keeps the tongue and lower jaw pushed forward to prevent temporary airway closings, which results in snoring and loss of oxygen to the brain. Because a mouthguard ensures your brain gets enough oxygen, it reduces your risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease. Some versions include straps to position the jaw so you're more comfortable sleeping.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Nightguards also protect from teeth grinding. While some people grind their teeth during the day due to stress, others grind and clench their teeth as they sleep. Known as bruxism, this disorder puts pressure on the teeth and jaw, increasing the risk of tooth fractures and chips as well as jaw pain and gum sensitivity without nightguard protection.
What Are the Best Mouthguards?
Stock mouthguards are the least expensive; however, they do not conform to teeth the way the other types do, resulting in less protection and potential gum irritation. Boil-and-bite mouthguards offer greater protection, while custom options created by dentists provide the perfect fit and therefore the best defense against injuries and wear.
If a mouthguard is right for your dental health, call Pure Dental Care in New York. Located in the Central Park South section of Manhattan, this general and cosmetic dentistry facility ensures every patient feels relaxed and comfortable. Keep your smile healthy and beautiful by calling (212) 256-1292 today to schedule an appointment or visit the website for a full list of services. Like the dentist on Facebook for more oral health tips.