Los Angeles Dentist Says Custom-Made Mouthguards Prevent Injury To Your Teeth
Orthodontic Appliances are designed to prevent damage from grinding your teeth at night, technically called nocturnal bruxism, which affects about 20% of the population, men and women equally. Teeth grinding may even occur when awake, without the individual being aware of the tension causing clenching and grinding. Grinding can cause wearing down of teeth, fractures, damage to dental work, and stress on the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Symptoms may include neck pain, headache, toothaches, and jaw pain when you chew. Your partner may complain about clicking sounds. A night guard provides protection and relief, while your dentist explores the often complex causes of your bruxism, which may range from work and family stress to smoking.
Sports mouth guards should be worn by anyone, adults or children, involved in any sport that might cause damage to the mouth. The American Dental Association says that Americans suffer 15 million dental injuries a year due to sports, resulting in the loss of five million teeth and chipping of millions more. Mouth guards can also protect blows from injuring the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and nerves. Contact sports like boxing, football, basketball, field or ice hockey, and lacrosse obviously require protection, but doctors also recommend this for all other risky recreational activity, such as baseball, gymnastics, skateboarding, and mountain biking. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises mouth guards for all young people participating in any organized sports, absorbing shock that will help prevent fractures, jaw dislocation, and head trauma.
Customized dental appliances are very important regardless of the specific need. Over-the-counter mouth guards do not fit properly, are often uncomfortable, and can result in damage to the teeth and to dental work. Those who wear braces especially need protection, while orthodontic retainers and other removable dental appliances need to be taken out before participating in any activity that puts the mouth at risk (Invisalign orthodontic trays are the exception, since a mouth guard is adequate to protect them).
Caring for your dental mouth guard
- Between uses, rinse your mouth guard with cold water and once a week, scrub it with a toothbrush and soapy water, then rinse it.
- Place it in a perforated container to store it, which will permit the air circulation that prevents bacteria from growing.
- Keep the mouth guard out of direct sunlight and hot water and away from hot surfaces.
- Bring the mouth guard with you to each dental checkup so it can be examined for wear and tear.
To have an expert assessment of all your dental needs, call Wilshire Smile Studio: 323-DENTIST (336-8478).