Bite guards are primarily worn for two reasons—to prevent teeth from grinding and protect teeth during physical activities. There are three types of bite guards to choose from:
||Custom-made bite guard: This type of bite guard is designed and fabricated by us, Crossroads Family Dental. During an appointment, Dr. Nicholas Berns will take an impression of your mouth and construct a bite guard using the mold. The guard will be designed using a specialized plastic that is durable, easy to clean, and resists tears. Custom-made bite guards offer superior comfort and protection. Many patients prefer custom-made bite guards over store-bought alternatives.
||Stock bite guards: This type of bite guard comes pre-formed and ready to wear. A stock bite guards may not fit very well. Unsurprisingly, they can be bulky and may make it difficult to talk or breath.
||Boil and bite guards: This type of bite guard is a step above stock guards. The plastic is altered by boiling the guard in water, then shaping the plastic around your teeth. Unfortunately, if the instructions are not followed exactly, you may end up with a poorly-fit guard.
Regardless of the intended use, we recommend custom-made bite guards. Protecting your teeth is an important investment that can save you from future restorative treatment.
The Dangers of Bruxism or Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition that can lead to worn or fractured teeth, jaw and facial pain, and other serious problems. While some grinding may happen during the day, clenching or grinding is the most difficult to control during sleep. This means you can suffer from bruxism and not even know it!
Most of the time, a patient discovers they grind their teeth when a spouse or partner is disturbed by grinding noises during sleep. Dr. Nicholas Berns can also diagnose bruxism during a dental exam.
Untreated bruxism can lead to damaged teeth that require a crown or other form of restoration. In severe cases, we may need to perform a tooth extraction. You may also develop painful disorders with your temporomandibular joints (TMJ)—the joints that control the movement of your jaw.
Night Guards for Teeth Grinding
A night guard is the most common way to treat a patient with bruxism. The guard will cushion your teeth from the forces of clenching, and prevent your teeth from grinding together. Having a well-fit guard is also an important part of maintaining a healthy bite and sound sleep. You do not want your guard to cause issues with breathing!
A sports guard is a device worn over your teeth to protect them from trauma and blows to the face during physical activity. We strongly recommend sports guards for patients who actively participate in football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and hockey. Patients who participate in gymnastics and extreme sports may also benefit from the use of a sports guard.
In general, sports guards will cover the upper teeth. Patients with braces or special conditions may receive a sports guard for their lower teeth as well. Your sports guard will protect you from broken or chipped teeth, tissue damage, and other trauma to your mouth.
Get Your Bite Guard Today!
Talk with Dr. Nicholas Berns if you are interested in receiving a sports guard. Call
(219) 440-2950 to schedule your appointment today!