Bite guards are a useful appliance that can protect your teeth from structural damage. Bite guards are worn over the teeth and used during sporting activities or at night to prevent teeth grinding. There are three types of bite guards.
A stock bite guard is prefabricated and comes ready to wear. Stock mouthguards can be bought at most sporting goods stores and are relatively inexpensive. However, they can be bulky, hard to adjust, and provide inadequate protection.
A boil and bite mouth guard is also a store-bought product made of thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, and placed in the mouth to be shaped around the teeth. These mouth guards are a better fit than stock guards, but they do not offer durability or supreme comfort.
The third option is a custom-fit, professionally made mouthguard. At Tigard Family Dental, we offer custom-made guards to provide a superior fit and the best protection. During an appointment, an impression is made of your teeth and sent to a dental laboratory. There, they use a special plastic material to construct a bite guard that is designed just for you.
Some patients may suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism). Bruxism is caused by clenching your teeth, stress and anxiety, and nocturnal disorders. If you suffer from bruxism, you may not be aware of it. Dr. Alexandra Dahm may notice the negative effects of bruxism during a dental examination. If your teeth are worn down, the dentist may suggest the use of a night guard.
A night guard can cushion your teeth from the force of involuntary grinding while you sleep. Unlike store bought guards, a custom-made guard can prevent complications with your bite and increase comfort.
Children can also suffer from nocturnal bruxism. Most will outgrow the habit, but a night guard may be recommended depending on the severity of their condition.
Bruxism may lead to future complications with your oral health. Your teeth can fracture, loosen, or wear down, which may lead to dental crowns, bridges, and even prosthetic replacement. Bruxism can also result in TMJ, a painful condition of the jaw.
Along with night guards, you may want to practice techniques to reduce or eliminate the grinding habit. You can train yourself to relax your jaw and avoid clenching. Stress-reducing activities, like counseling or meditation, can also help you break the habit. Avoiding beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol can help prevent nocturnal bruxism.
Contact Us About Night Guards
If you are interested in receiving a night guard, call (971) 762-1262, and schedule an appointment today.