Most patients have not used a mouth guard. However, that does not mean that these patients would not benefit from the use of a dental mouth guard. Few people realize the variety of uses for dental mouth guards. At Dr. James M. Stein’s Boston cosmetic dentistry practice, mouth guards are often recommended to patients as a form of protection for the teeth or as treatment for a physical condition. The custom-made mouth guards that are provided by Dr. Stein are not only effective; they are also the most comfortable and well-fitted mouth guards available. Custom-made dental mouth guards are superior to over-the-counter mouth guards in each of the following uses:
- Protecting the teeth: The most well-known use for mouth guards is as protection for the teeth in sports that involve a high level of direct contact. While a mouth guard if very effective in protecting the teeth, lips, and other soft tissues in the mouth during high contact sports, they are actually recommended for use during non-contact sports as well. Any person who is participating in a physical activity where risk is a possibility (skateboarding, bicycling, etc.) can benefit from the use of a dental mouth guard.
- Preventing teeth grinding: Teeth grinding is a troublesome problem for many patients. Because most grinding takes place while the patient is sleeping, it is not a habit that can be easily controlled. However, a mouth guard can be useful in the prevention of teeth grinding (also known as bruxism). By wearing a dental mouth guard at night, patients can prevent the upper and lower teeth from clenching and/or grinding. This can prevent a variety of symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, and tooth damage.
- Treating TMJ disorder: TMJ disorder is a term used to describe a painful condition that affects the jaw joint and other muscles that control the movements of the jaw. While there are many possible causes and treatments for this condition, a mouth guard is often one of the more conservative treatments doctors will recommend. A mouth guard can keep the teeth properly aligned, which may alleviate the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
- Treating sleep apnea: There are several treatments for sleep apnea, a condition in which a patient’s sleep is interrupted by abnormal pauses in breathing. Many patients who try a dental mouth guard while they sleep find that this can significantly improve sleep apnea. A dental mouth guard may be able to open up the patient’s airways and allow for uninterrupted breathing without the need for a cumbersome breathing machine.
While a dental mouth guard can be extremely effective in preventing and treating these conditions, additional treatments may also be recommended. Some of these conditions, such as teeth grinding and TMJ disorder, may also be affected by teeth that are out of line. For patients in Boston, dental crowns can be applied to damaged teeth in order to improve the alignment of the teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
If, having read more about the uses of dental mouth guards, a patient feels that he or she may make a good candidate for a dental mouth guard, schedule an appointment with Dr. James M. Stein to learn more. Dr. Stein is happy to fit patients with a dental mouth guard that can comfortably protect the teeth and prevent other dental conditions.