Individuals who play sports are expected to wear protective gear. Whether a child or adult, professional or hobbyist, one of the most important areas to protect is the mouth. Sports guards and mouth guards are recommended, and even provided by some teams. Wearing a mouth guard during contact sports significantly reduces the risk of oral injury. What some people don't know is that a well-made sports guard can even limit the impact that may cause jaw injury or concussion. The key to success is to have the right piece of equipment.
Mouthguards are widely available online and in retail outlets. These products are so accessible that many people do not see their dentist for the full extent of protection they need. Patients of Kingsgate Dental Clinic, in Kirkland, benefit from the creation of a mouth guard that is customized to their teeth and oral structure.
A mouth guard should be easy to clean, comfortable to wear, and durable. It should not tear or break, and should not make it difficult to breathe heavily, as you naturally do when playing sports. Studies show that many off-the-shelf mouth guards fail to meet the standards for optimal efficiency and safety. One study showed that the thickness of most mouth guards is insufficient to prevent injury. To obtain optimal protection, one needs a mouth guard that fits well and acts as a shock absorber. We are happy to make this vital piece of equipment for you here in our office.
Mouth guards protect teeth and the jaw during sports, but this protection is also needed by certain patients who do not engage in contact activities. For instance, patients with dental implants or other restorations are encouraged to wear a mouth guard when they sleep. This fixture is also referred to as a night guard. Its purpose is to reduce the pressure that is placed on the teeth, joints, and jaw during sleep.
Many people have a condition called bruxism. This essentially means that they clench their jaw or grind their teeth when they sleep. This habit is common, and may have something to do with excessive stress. Because it occurs routinely and without the patients’ knowledge, bruxism can cause undue wear on teeth. It may also cause jaw joints called TMJs to become irritated and dysfunctional.