Sports mouthguards are worn to protect the teeth and the jaw during a variety of sporting activities. A mouthguard has the ability to prevent and/or minimise all sorts of injuries to the mouth, including – fractured or lost teeth, cuts and abrasions, and even jaw injuries.
A custom-made mouthguard is best able to protect the mouth from major injury by acting as a shock absorber. On impact, the mouthguard not only provides a physical barrier between the upper and lower teeth, therefore preventing them clashing together, but is also able to spread the force from the contact around the whole mouth.
Types of mouthguards
Off the shelf: These over-the-counter mouthguards are available in many varieties and are the cheaper option. However, they are not an accurate fit and as a result only offer limited protection.
Custom made: At Wyatt Ryan Dental, Geelong, we advise having a custom-made mouthguard. Because they are made to accurately fit the mouth they are able to provide the maximum protection possible. Custom-made mouthguards are able to reduce the severity of injuries that may be sustained during a sporting activity. An added benefit to a custom made mouthguard is that it can be made into just about any colour combination requested.
When should a mouthguard be worn?
Mouthguards should be worn for many sports including football, soccer, hockey, rugby, boxing, martial arts and even basketball and netball. It is as important to wear the mouthguard during training sessions, as it is during match play.
Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding, can cause a range of symptoms including:
- minor tooth wear
- excessive tooth wear
- cracked teeth
- jaw and muscle pain
- ear ache
- disrupted sleep patterns
Bruxism can present as a complex set of symptoms and requires a thorough history and diagnosis by our experienced dentists.
Dental Splints, or occlusal splints, are used to treat various presentations of bruxism. The splint is a physical barrier which helps prevent tooth wear caused by tooth-to-tooth contact. The splint also reduces muscle activity in your jaw, and this relaxation of the muscles can reduce jaw and muscular soreness. Often splints are recommended to be worn at night, a time when tooth grinding is at it’s most active.
Dental Splints are custom-made acrylic appliances and there are many types available. At Wyatt Ryan Dental our Geelong dentists provide a thorough dental examination and assessment of your symptoms. In all cases, after careful evaluation, a splint is designed to best suit your individual needs.
If you have already damaged your teeth, we can provide expert care and attention to repair your teeth. With a thorough dental examination at our Geelong dental clinic, we may suggest crowns, veneers, implants, teeth whitening or other reconstructive dental procedures.
Please contact our friendly Geelong dental clinic if you have queries about dental splits and mouthguards, including care for mouthguards, longevity of mouthguards and what to do if your child is wearing braces.