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The Protective Benefits of Mouth Guards

By Dwight D. Peccora, DDS on October 07, 2016

A mouth guardFor some, brushing and flossing regularly may not be enough to protect the teeth from dental damage. Those who play contact sports or suffer from teeth grinding are at a greater risk of experiencing dental injuries or damage from bruxism. Mouth guards can provide a level of protection for patients, preventing dental damage and helping to keep the smile beautiful. General dentistry treatments, combined with the use of a mouth guard, can help prevent dental damage. To learn more about mouth guard benefits, schedule a consultation with Fort Bend Dental in Missouri City, TX and Richmond, TX.

What Are Mouth Guards?

Mouth guards are oral devices worn to protect the teeth, gums, lips, and arches from injury. Mouth guards are worn over the teeth and gums, and may be used to protect the mouth while playing sports or at night, when bruxing typically occurs. Mouth guards may be purchased in sporting good stores or custom-made in a dental office. The type of mouth guard will depend on the patient's needs.

The Benefits of Mouth Guards

Mouth guards offer a layer of protection and can prevent teeth grinding and sports-related injuries. In addition to helping those who play sports or grind their teeth, some people who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, or “TMD,” may find relief from TMD pain through the use of mouth guards. Some of the many benefits of mouth guards include:

  • Prevent sports-related injuries: Playing sports can leave the teeth vulnerable to damage that can occur when getting hit by a ball or other sports equipment or colliding with another player. Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports can help protect the teeth from unexpected injury, preventing dental damage and tooth loss.
  • Protects the teeth from teeth grinding: Teeth grinding, or “bruxism,” can wreak havoc on the teeth, wearing down the enamel, fracturing the teeth, and leaving the teeth vulnerable to decay. Wearing a mouth guard while sleeping, the most common time for teeth grinding to occur, can help protect the teeth from the wear and tear of bruxism.
  • Alleviates TMD symptoms: When worn during sleep, mouth guards can help reduce strain on the jaw by preventing teeth clenching. For some TMD sufferers, this reduction in jaw strain is often enough to help alleviate TMD symptoms, such as jaw pain and mild headaches.
  • Prevents the need for costly restorative treatment: Mouth guards provide an extra protective barrier for the teeth, reducing the risk of injury and helping to avoid the need for costly restorative dental work.
  • Can prevent tooth loss: Wearing mouth guards while playing sports can help absorb the impact of an injury, reducing the risk of tooth loss. 

Are You a Candidate for a Mouth Guard?

Although those who play sports or suffer from teeth grinding most obviously benefit from mouth guards, just about anyone who feels they need extra protection from dental damage and injury may be a suitable candidate for a mouth guard. To find out if a mouth guard is right for your needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our team to Fort Bend Dental today.

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