How Night Guards Protect Your Smile from Teeth Grinding

Columbus OH Night Guard and Mouth Guard Dentist

Whether you grind your teeth at night or play a contact sport, you’ll want to talk to your Columbus dentist about how to protect your smile. Oral appliances (like night guards and sports mouth guards) are important for maintaining the structural integrity of your teeth. Certain activities or habits in your lifestyle may put you at a higher risk for dental injury, making you a candidate for an oral appliance.

In this blog post, we examine the differences between night and mouth guards, so you can determine which best fits your needs. If you think you would benefit from either a mouth guard or a bite appliance, don’t hesitate to bring it up during your next dentist appointment.

Night Guards

Do you grind your teeth at night? Over time, this repetitive motion can damage your teeth. If you are not sure if you are grinding or clenching teeth at night, some common symptoms include worn tooth enamel, jaw pain, and headaches upon waking. Teeth grinding can also cause TMJ disorders.

Over time, teeth grinding can cause permanent damage to your smile unless you start wearing a night mouth guard. During your first appointment, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to the lab where your night guard will be made. During your second appointment, your dentist will check the fit of the night guard so you’ll be able to breathe and sleep comfortably.

While wearing a teeth grinding guard might be seen as an inconvenience, we feel that protecting your smile is worth the hassle. By wearing your night guard every time you sleep, you are safeguarding your teeth against surface damage that could grow into a larger issue. For example, patients with severe cases have had teeth fall out due to the pressure of teeth grinding. A dental night guard helps you to stop grinding teeth by forming a protective layer between your upper and lower teeth.

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards, like oral sleep appliances, are meant to protect your teeth. The only difference is that a mouth guard will protect your teeth from being damaged while playing contact sports. Your sports dentist will be able to create a football mouth guard, or mouth guards for other sports like hockey and boxing. Your child may require a special mouth guard for braces if they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. That way, your child’s brackets and wires won’t slice the gums, cheeks, and tongue upon impact.

While athletes who play contact sports are the most likely candidates for mouth guards, participants in noncontact sports may also reap benefits. There are many sports which do not fit under the category of contact sports, but still pose as a risk for sports dental injury. Mountain biking and ice skating are such examples. Avoid having chipped, loose, or missing teeth in the future by asking your sports dentist if a mouth guard is right for you.

Dr. Gibson DDS and his team at Gibson Dental will be able to help prevent damage to your smile through the proper oral appliances. To learn more about mouth guards for teeth grinding and other bite appliances, call us at (614) 878-9562.