Watch a football, basketball, or hockey game on TV, and you’ll almost certainly see at least one player flash his or her mouth guard during the action. Made from tough but comfortable plastic or acrylic, these mouthpieces are essential, providing the athlete’s teeth with protection against hard impacts to the face.
But mouth guards aren’t just for athletes! Even though you aren’t hitting hockey pucks, throwing long passes, or shooting baskets in your bedroom, your teeth and gums might need some protection from an equally risky activity that takes place while you are fast asleep: teeth grinding.
The Background of Mouth Guards
You’ve probably heard of the ADA (American Dental Association). This organization ensures that products like toothpaste and mouth wash are safe and effective. Even though you might not know them personally, they play an important role in caring for your oral health.
The ADA takes a proactive stance on all things related to dentistry, and this includes stressing the importance of mouth guards, or orofacial protectors. According to the ADA, these simple but effective devices are not just for athletes who might suffer from dental damage while participating in professional or recreational sports, but also for those who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding). The organization has been diligently promoting mouth guards since the mid-1990s.
You’re probably aware of the importance of deep, restful sleep. While your conscious mind is resting, your body repairs itself on a deep, cellular level. At the same time though, stress could be getting in the way, sometimes manifesting in the form of teeth grinding. Also known as bruxism, this unconscious habit can be absolutely devastating, causing your teeth to wear prematurely, leading to cracks and chips, and even causing your teeth to change position. Teeth grinding leads to sensitive teeth that prevent you from enjoying your food or even chewing it properly, and it can cause serious jaw pain. Over time, teeth grinding can have serious, negative consequences for your overall oral health.
A sleeping partner might have alerted you to the fact that you grind your teeth at night, or your dentist might have informed you of the problem during a routine cleaning or exam. If you’re lucky, you’ve caught your teeth grinding issue in time to put a stop to it. While you are using one of the many known methods for stopping teeth grinding, you should also wear a quality mouth guard to protect your teeth from worse damage. Where to get a good mouth guard that will fit you comfortable while offering effective protection? Websites like mouthguardsforteethgrinding.com can help you compare a variety of popular mouth guards and find the one that’s best for you.
The effects of teeth grinding include:
- It wears away the tooth enamel
- It is very loud, and can disturb your sleeping partner
- It can cause severe jaw pain, headaches, and even ongoing migraines
- It can warn you that you are suffering from excess stress, which over time can lead to high blood pressure and other serious health problems
While teeth grinding can be a barometer for your overall mental health and lead you to address underlying problems with stress and anxiety, it can also make life difficult for you and the ones who care about you. Using a mouth guard saves your teeth, and it can also help put a stop to accompanying problems.
The Types of Mouth Guards
An astonishing variety of mouth guards is available, and you will want to find a company that offers a protector that will offer you the most benefits. Chief among these is the ability to prevent damage your tooth enamel while you’re asleep.
Why is this mouth guard benefit so important? It all has to do with enamel’s job. Each of your teeth is covered with a layer of enamel, which prevents harmful bacteria from penetrating into the deeper layers of the tooth. If the enamel on your teeth is weak or damaged due to the constant clenching and grinding of your teeth at night, then plaque and bacteria are able to invade the soft areas of the teeth. This can result in serious problems including tooth decay. Cavities are not only unpleasant to look at, they are also very painful and expensive to fix. You can save your enamel by getting and wearing a properly fitted mouth guard.
When you stop the unpleasant sound of teeth grinding, you and your partner will sleep better at night. A mouth guard can help you stop snoring as well: If this is an issue for you, then you will almost certainly get deeper, more restful sleep and enjoy better health in the process.
Now you know that there’s far more to mouth guards than meets the eye! Sleeping may not be a competitive sport, but it might just call for a mouth guard. In the end, this simple device can protect your teeth and save money on costly dental bills.