Mouth guards are made of rubbery or plastic material. Mouth guards are used to provide protection to teeth and jaw joint against any damage resulting from teeth grinding or clenching.
Mouth Guard acts as a cushion between teeth and creates a gap between upper and bottom teeth. Thus, reducing the impact of teeth grinding.
Signs and symptoms of teeth grinding:
- Chipped teeth
- Sore cheek muscles
- Pain in jaw joint
- Worn down teeth
- Worn down teeth along gum line called abfractions in dental terminology
- Sore jaw joint when you wake up
People grind their teeth at different times of the day. Some people clench their teeth while working out at the gym. Some people grind or clench their teeth when they are angry or stressed, some while driving and many people grind their teeth while sleeping. Finding out the right time and reason when one grinds their teeth is very important to address the problem.
Some people will need a softer mouth guard, and some will need a hard acrylic mouth guard. Make sure you consult your dentist.
Different kind of mouth guards:
Customized mouth guards
These mouth guards offer the greatest degree of protection and are custom-made by the dentist. First, the dentist makes an impression of the teeth using special material, and then the mouth guard is fabricated over the mold. Customized mouth guards are more expensive and take longer to fit, but are more comfortable, orthodontically correct, and fully approved by the dentist.
Stock mouth guards
These mouth guards can be bought directly off the shelf and immediately fitted into one’s mouth. The fit is universal (one-size-fits-all), meaning that that the mouth guard doesn’t adjust. Stock mouth guards are very cheap and quick to locate at sporting goods stores. Pediatric dentists favor this type of mouth guard least and are not very comfortable to wear.
Boil and bite mouth guards
These mouth guards are usually made from thermoplastic and are easily located at most sporting goods stores. First, the thermoplastic must be immersed in hot water to make it pliable, and then it must be pressed on your teeth to create a custom mold. Boil and bite mouth guards are slightly more expensive than stock mouth guards.