Mouth & Sports Guards
If you’re an athlete, you’re no stranger to protective equipment. We often go to great lengths to protect our heads, bones and joints but sometimes we forget about our teeth! Mouth guards or sports guards can be the difference between a flawless smile and an expensive corrective dental procedure. Another important use for mouth guards is to prevent damage from grinding your teeth.
Sports guards are plastic mouthpieces that fit sandwiched between the upper and lower teeth. Using a sports guard can prevent dental injuries during sporting events. Dental injuries could lead to alignment issues also known as malocclusion. Although some contact sports require the use of sports guards, Dr. Khan may recommend wearing a sports guard during any sport or game that may put you at risk for a dental injury. Mouth guards may also be a good idea for patients that have orthodontic work in their mouths such as braces or appliances.
Mouth Guards for Sleep
Mouth guards can be worn at night to help prevent damage that can come as a result of clenching and teeth grinding. Consistent pressure and grinding can eventually cause pain and wear on your teeth. For the best possible fit, we can custom fit a mouth guard to provide the highest level of comfort. While it may seem cumbersome to wear a mouth guard each night, it is worth preventing the following issues:
- Jaw pain
- Worn down teeth
- Damaged enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Headaches from clenching and pressure
One of the most irritating effects of sleep apnea is the snoring that comes with it. Oral appliances used to alleviate the airway issues resemble a mouth guard but have a slightly more sophisticated function. The difference between a basic mouth guard and an oral appliance for sleep apnea is the positioning. A regular mouth guard for protective purposes is positioned as a normal bite, while an appliance for sleep apnea puts the teeth in a forward position to keep the upper airway open. With a more open upper airway, you can experience sounder, quitter sleep without breathing or snoring issues. This is a great option to try before resorting to surgical methods or large equipment.
Oral appliances such as these are customized to your teeth for your comfort. Once your mouthpiece is has been made, you will return to IKON Dental Group for a final fitting. Dr. Khan will adjust your appliance to make sure it fits snug yet comfortable. He will show you how to care for your oral appliance in between wears.
By treating your sleep apnea, you may be surprised how good you feel after a few restful nights. Many people with sleep apnea don’t even realize that it plays a major factor in how much deep sleep they get every night, therefore playing a direct role in their energy levels and brain function.
If you are in need of a protective mouth guard for sports or sleep, contact IKON today to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Khan.