Mouthguards are an essential tool to protect your beautiful teeth and gums, whether you grind your teeth at night or participate in contact sports. At Hudgens Dental in Charleston, South Carolina, board-certified cosmetic dentist Roy Hudgens, DMD, creates custom-made mouthguards that preserve your smile from damage. Call the office or schedule an appointment online to learn more about mouthguards.
What are mouthguards?
Mouthguards are removable oral appliances you wear to protect your teeth and gums. They cover your teeth, protecting against chips, cracks, and other types of dental erosion. There are many types of mouthguards that can preserve your smile.
While over-the-counter (OTC) options are available, many patients find that store-bought mouthguards don’t properly fit their teeth. Hudgens Dental offers custom-made mouthguards that can address your specific needs using dental impressions of your own teeth.
OTC mouthguards can hinder your ability to play sports comfortably. You have to clench your teeth to hold an OTC mouthguard in place. Custom-made sports guards allow you to enjoy your chosen sport without constantly thinking about your mouthguard.
Mouthguards can help protect your teeth and gums against a wide range of dental concerns, such as:
TMJ refers to pain and discomfort in the temporomandibular joints that connect your jaw to your skull. Supported by muscles, cartilage, and other soft tissues, these joints allow you to open and close your mouth. Stress on the temporomandibular joints or their supporting tissues can cause TMJ.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes the tissues in the back of the throat to collapse when the muscles that support them relax. A mouthguard can help shift the jaw forward to prevent symptoms such as loud snoring.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, occurs when your teeth gnash together. The condition is common at night and during times of stress. Without treatment, bruxism can erode your teeth and strain the muscles supporting the jaw.
Sports mouthguards protect your mouth from broken teeth, lacerated gum tissue, and other common sports injuries.
Dr. Hudgens also offers sleep dentistry solutions, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious sedation, to help patients relax during treatment.
The two most common types of mouthguards are:
If you have TMJ or teeth grinding, a custom-made mouthguard can help protect your teeth while you sleep. These oral appliances also shift your jaw into a more comfortable position to relieve tension from your temporomandibular joints. Oral appliance therapy may help reduce morning headaches, jaw pain, fatigue, and neck pain.
Protecting your smile while participating in sports can help you avoid costly, unanticipated dental damages, like fractured teeth, tongue lacerations, and even knocked-out teeth. Many sports require sports mouthguards. Dr. Hudgens can discuss the risks associated with playing impact sports without wearing a form of dental protection.
Call Hudgens Dental or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about mouthguards.