One of the goals of preventive dentistry is to protect teeth from damage, whether internal or external. Therefore, dentists in preventive dentistry put forth proactive measures that ensure you will not incur dental damage in the first place. This way, you do not have to go looking for restorative dental solutions for your oral cavity.
One such approach to caring for dental health involves the use of oral guards or protectors. They are incredibly useful in dentistry, both as a preventive measure and a treatment alternative for dental problems.
What Are Night Guards and Mouthguards?
They are oral devices used to protect the oral cavity from damage. These oral devices are used in preventive dentistry, usually to protect teeth against anticipated damage. Mouth protectors are commonly associated with sporting activities, which is why many sportspeople seek night and athletic mouthguards in Ontario, CA.
Still, mouth protectors are not for use by sportspeople. Their use in dentistry is invaluable providing solutions for diverse needs that patients have.
While night guards and mouthguards are terms often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. They both refer to mouth protectors that guard teeth against damage. However, some mouth protectors are used during the day, while others are more effective for use at night. It depends on your underlying dental problem.
Uses of Mouth Protectors in Dentistry
Whether you get a mouth protector for use at night or during the day, the Ontario dentist customizes it to befit your individual oral needs. Some of the uses of these oral devices in dentistry are:
- Protecting teeth from external damage – mouthguards have been used as protectors for teeth, especially among sportspersons. They offer coverage to your teeth and jawbone by cushioning the teeth. This way, upon external impact on your face and jaw, your teeth will be secure and protected from injuries.
- Reducing the effects of teeth grinding – teeth grinding is a term used to refer to a medical condition called bruxism. It is when patients gnash their teeth together excessively, particularly at night. For some patients, this is a poor oral habit that can be unlearned. However, for others, there is a need to try out an athletic mouth guard for grinding teeth. The mouthguards, in this case, will prevent the upper teeth from interacting with the lower teeth when you sleep. This way, even though you clench your jaw and grind your teeth, the enamels thereof will not wear and tear gradually. This is why patients who use mouthguards for teeth grinding experience reduced hypersensitivity and save their teeth from wearing out.
- Treating sleep apnea – sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects the respiratory system of your body. It happens when you experienced reduced breathability at night. Ideally, you stop breathing for several seconds as you sleep. This pattern of loss of breath at night can have adverse effects on your health, some even life-threatening. One of the ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea is using a sleep apnea mouthguard. This type of mouth protector helps keep your upper and lower jaw away from each other, which leaves your airways open. The goal is to encourage and improve breathability at night, to decrease the loss of breath when you sleep.
- Treating TMJ – this is a disorder of connective tissue in the area between your skull and jawbone. It is known as the temporomandibular joint. When it is defective, you will experience difficulty using your mouth, especially when it involves moving your jawbone. You will also experience other symptoms like migraine headaches and swelling, all of which are uncomfortable. As a treatment alternative, your doctor may suggest getting a dental guard for TMJ. The mouthpiece will help reduce the clenching of your teeth, which will relieve some of the pressure exerted on your TMJ.
How Do You Choose the Best?
Depending on what your oral needs are, different types of mouth protectors are viable for use. The primary focus, however, should be to get your dentist involved in your treatment. Mouth protectors can be found over-the-counter easily, but that does not mean that you should depend on those.
Ideally, customized mouth protectors are the best. The reason is that they are tailored to your individual oral needs and are perfected for offering treatment. Other than that, they fit perfectly in your mouth without causing other complications like difficulty speaking or breathing when you wear them.