Do You Need A Custom Mouthguard?

Do You Need A Custom Mouthguard?

Nov 01, 2021

Teeth defects and infections are commonly caused by bad oral habits, bad oral hygiene, and injury/accidents from work or sports. These can lead to tooth decay, and chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Defects caused by some bad oral habits and work/sport-related injuries can be avoided if proper precautions are taken. Abuse of the teeth (e.g cracking nuts with the teeth, opening corks with the teeth, etc) and trauma to the face during work or sports are only going to lead to a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth.

Bruxism is the grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw by an individual unconsciously as a bad habit or as a sleep disorder. Frequent cases of bruxism are enough to cause splitting headaches, jaw disorder, and cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth are defective and have a bad outlook on your facial aesthetics. Furthermore, they hinder the teeth from performing their responsibilities efficiently.

The functions of the teeth are to bite, tear, chew, and grind food, give shape to the face, and aid the production of speech and pronunciation of words. Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth would make chewing, biting, tearing, and grinding of food difficult, make the face sag, and make the pronunciation of words an almost impossible task.

Another reason for chipped, broken, or cracked teeth is trauma to the face from injuries or accidents. Contact sports like football, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, etc, that hold the risk of a direct hit to the face can cause a tooth to chip, crack, or break. Also, non-contact sports and occupations that possess a high fall risk can cause the teeth to chip, crack, or break.

Seeing the damage that bad oral habits and work/sports-related injuries can cause to the teeth, the teeth must be protected at all costs to prevent damage to dental health. A major way to protect the teeth from the damage of bruxism, and occupational, and sports injury is to wear custom-made mouthguards.

Mouthguards are dental prosthetic devices that cover and protect the organs of the mouth from trauma caused by bruxism and sport or work-related injuries. Mouthguards do not only protect the teeth. They also protect the tongue, lips, gums, jaws, and face. You might need a mouthguard if:

  • You grind your teeth frequently and unconsciously day and night (bruxism).
  • You play contact sports with a high risk of trauma to the face.
  • You have an occupation with a high fall risk.
  • You participate in non-contact sports or recreational activities that possess a high fall risk like gymnastics, biking, etc.

Mouthguards are divided into two categories. These include mouthguards made to protect the teeth from sports or work injuries and mouthguards made to protect the teeth from the damage of bruxism(teeth grinding). These mouthguards serve different purposes and might look and feel different.

Types of Mouthguards

There are different types of mouthguards depending on their method of production. They include:

Custom-fitted mouthguard:

These types of mouthguards are specially made with the impressions of your teeth. This makes them fit your teeth and mouth perfectly. This type of mouthguard is custom-made by a dental professional and it costs more, however, it provides the best fit and protection for the teeth. They are specially made for you either to protect you at work, during sport or at night because of bruxism.

Boil-and-bite mouthguards:

This type of mouthguard is made with a thermoplastic material and can be shaped at home to fit your teeth. After buying it, you place the mouthguard into hot water to soften it and then place it in your mouth. You can use your fingers to press the mouthguard on your teeth and when it is in the right position, you bite down to shape it for the best fit.

Stock mouthguards:

This type of preformed mouthguard comes in one size and is ready to wear. As expected, they rarely fit well and can even cause breathing difficulties. It provides the worst fit and protection.

The custom-made mouthguard is the best in terms of the perfect fit and protection.

Benefits of A Custom Mouthguard

The benefits of a custom guard are:

  • Prevents chipping and loss of teeth.
  • Protects the soft tissues and prevents damage to the lips, tongue, gum, and inner cheeks.
  • Prevents nerve damage to a tooth.
  • Saves you the money of repairing a damaged tooth or replacing a lost tooth.

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