There are many different ways that dentists can enhance your dental health and safeguard your overall dental wellness. While direct cleanings, cosmetic dentistry treatments, and restorative care can really work wonders for overall well-being, there are plenty of other ways that dental care specialists can help.
One such option that many people don't really think of or simply take for granted involves the use of dental mouth guards. We'd like to take a few moments right now to look over the basics of dental mouth guards and how they can be used to help patients achieve or maintain excellent dental wellness.
What is a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is a dental appliance that is worn over the teeth in order to protect various structures of the mouth. It has a number of applications for preventative care as well as advanced dental therapy.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are three types of dental mouth guards out there:
- Stock Mouth Guards - Available right off the shelf, stock mouth guards are basic retainers that can be worn over the teeth. These are not customized to a patient's own teeth or bite, so comfort and fit can sometimes be an issue.
- Boil and Bite Mouth Guards - Boil and bite mouth guards are semi-custom mouth guards. Made from special plastic polymers, the mouth guard is first heated and then bitten into in order to create a mold of the patient's teeth.
- Custom-fitted Mouth Guards - Custom-fitted mouth guards are designed by a cosmetic and restorative dentist and made specifically to a patient's teeth. These types of mouth guards offer the best possible comfort for a patient.
There are different applications for these various mouth guards. In particular, we'd like to look at two common uses.
Mouth Guards for Athletics
Athletic mouth guards are ideal for protecting the teeth, tongue, and gums from injury while engaging in various sports. With an athletic mouth guard in place, patients can avoid restorative and general dental care treatment for oral injury.
Good Candidates for Athletic Mouth Guards
The best candidates for athletic mouth guards are people who play full-contact sports or lead extremely active lifestyles. This is especially good for people who play football, hockey, or rugby, or engage in boxing and mixed martial arts.
Mouth Guards for Tooth Grinding
Another common application for mouth guards is the treatment of tooth grinding, the gnashing and clenching of the teeth at night. Dental mouth guards will be worn when the patient sleeps in order too prevent contact between the teeth of the upper and lower dental arch, alleviating pressure on the jaw in the process.
Good Candidates for Tooth Grinding Mouth Guards
The best candidates for teeth grinding mouth guards are people who suffer from tooth grinding. Generally, these mouth guards are just part of the treatment process, which also incorporates orthodontic care, stress management, and dental restorations (e.g., inlays, onlays, dental crowns).
Schedule a Consultation for Dental Care Treatment
For more information on dental mouth guards and many other topics related to preventative and general dental care, be sure to contact our Knoxville cosmetic dentistry center today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the very best dental health possible.