Mouth guards protect teeth from sports injuries and teeth grinding in Petaluma, CA

Sports and athletic activities are a large part of many children’s and adult’s lives. While sports are an important source of physical activity and provide many team-building and other life skills, there is no denying that they can be dangerous at times. A hit to the face by a ball, equipment, or even another player can have life-long consequences for oral health. At North Bay Smiles, we offer custom-made mouth guards to protect children and adults in the Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Santa Rosa, Novato, and neighboring CA communities.

How a sports mouth guard protects you or your child

A well-made, custom-fitted mouth guard does much more than just protect the teeth during falls, hits to the face, or other types of collisions. Mouth guards minimize the amount of force being placed on sensitive tissues in several ways:

  • The mouth guard prevents the teeth from biting down too hard, which can prevent injuries to the tongue, cheeks, and teeth
  • It shields the lips from being cut by the teeth
  • It reduces the force that is transmitted from the jaw to the base of the brain, reducing the risk of concussions or other traumatic brain injury

In addition, sports mouth guards can minimize the prevalence of jawbone fractures, gum and soft tissue injuries, tooth fractures, and neck injuries. Mouth guards are widely recognized as an important part of athlete safety and are often required during a variety of sports such as basketball, martial arts, football, baseball, hockey, and many others.

Mouth guards for teeth grinding and clenching or snoring

Do you find that you regularly wake up with jaw pain, facial soreness, or headaches? Do you have uneven wear and tear on your teeth? If so, you may suffer from bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding while you sleep. Clenching and grinding is involuntary and everyone does it to a certain extent, but some people may clench and grind their teeth more intensely or for longer periods than others, at which point it can begin to cause negative symptoms and damage your teeth and their supporting structures.

The underlying causes of bruxism can vary, but it can frequently accompany stressful periods in our lives. While this is most common among adults, we have been seeing more teenagers and young adults who grind their teeth due to the pressures of our modern lifestyle—such as playing competitively on sports teams and getting into a good college. A custom night guard can help reduce the forces placed upon teeth when you or your child clench and grind at night, which will protect the teeth from damage and help alleviate painful symptoms.

In addition, some patients who chronically snore can benefit from a custom night guard. These are made to place your jaw in a strategic position while you sleep, preventing the tissue collapse that can cause snoring to occur.

Dr. Szyperski will talk with you about your symptoms and perform a thorough evaluation to help you determine whether a night guard for bruxism or snoring is right for you.

Benefits of a professionally made mouth guard

A simple walk through your local grocery store or online search will reveal just how many options there are when it comes to mouth guards. In general, there are three types:

  • Stock mouth guards that are one-size-fits-all
  • Boil and bite mouth guards that you mold to the teeth after submerging the mouth guard in hot water
  • Custom-made mouth guards that are specially fabricated by the dentist for you or your child’s unique mouth

Custom-made mouth guards, while more expensive than the other options, offer the best protection due to their precise fit and superior construction. They are molded to the patient’s teeth, do not impinge on the gums, and provide better support than the options available at a store. In addition, they are less likely to impede breathing, speaking, and drinking water in the same way that over-the-counter options do, and are more comfortable to wear – which means that you or your child is less likely to avoid wearing it. As an additional benefit, patients who have undergone orthodontic treatment can also use their mouth guard as a retainer rather than needing two dental appliances.

To talk to Dr. Szyperski about the benefits of a professionally made mouth guard and whether it is right for you or your child, call North Bay Smiles today! (707) 306-8001