Mouth Guards for Sport

Sporting injuries can result in severe dental trauma.  It can be costly to repair the damaged teeth.  It is essential to wear a mouth guard while participating in any risky sporting activity.

Mouth guards are designed to protect the teeth, gums and the jaw joint.

Mouth guards vary in price from over the counter products that are heated and shaped at home to professionally made mouth guards which are moulded on impressions taken in the dental surgery. Professionally made mouthguards tend to be comfortable and are thus more likely to get used. It is recommended that you use the best quality mouth guard possible when participating in any sport, both training and matches. Whichever mouth guard you choose, remember to wear it!

CLENCHING AND GRINDING

Grinding or clenching normally occurs when sleeping. Occasional grinding is generally not a problem but more regular grinding can result in significant damage to the teeth. It can also lead to headaches and jaw pain when you are awake. Symptoms of night bruxism are typically noticed by a patient upon waking. These include:
  • Uncomfortable  teeth,
  • A mild ache in the jaw radiating up the sides of the face towards the temples.
  • Tooth indentations on the tongue,
  • Headaches.

Grinding is often linked to stress and anxiety or an abnormal bite. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth and the problem is detected by a family member who hears the grinding at night. Severe grinding increases the number of dental problems an individual will experience. These signs are detectable by a dentist and include excessive wear on the tops of the teeth, increased incidence of tooth fracture and frequent failure of dental restorations.

A night guard or occlusal splint is the device most often recommended as the treatment for grinding (bruxism) and TMD (dysfunction of the jaw joint). This occlusal guard will protect the natural teeth or any dentistry such as crowns, veneers or implants. A night guard will also help to relax the jaw muscles, reduce muscle spasm and alleviate headaches.

If the grinding is being aggravated due to stress it would be wise to seek medical advice to help you in reducing your stress.

Treatment may also require the help of a physiotherapist trained in trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, or clinical massage.

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