Protect your teeth and gums
Mouthguards are dental devices that are useful for protecting teeth from things like violent collisions or bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding. Mouthguards have also been used to reduce the volume of snoring and to help relieve a condition called sleep apnea.
Different types of mouthguards are available, depending upon the needs of the patient. Some are available over-the-counter, while others are provided by the dentist.
Common types of mouthguards include:
- Stock mouthguard
- “Boil-and-bite” mouthguard
- Custom-made mouthguard
A stock mouthguard is the most affordable and widely available type of mouthguard. They are commonly found at drugstores and sporting goods stores. Stock mouthguards are available in a variety of sizes to fit over your teeth. Most of them only cover the top teeth.
Although stock mouthguards are readily available and cheap, they have some downsides. Since they are not custom-fit, they tend to be uncomfortable and somewhat loose in the mouth, making it more difficult to talk when wearing one.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are similar to stock mouthguards, in that they are available in most sporting goods stores and drugstores. They are also inexpensive.
This type of mouthguard is available in only one size that allows it to be customized to fit your individual teeth. You would boil it, which softens it and allows it to be placed over your front teeth. You would then bite down to create its permanent shape.
This type of mouthguard is created by your dentist. Your dentist will create your custom-made mouthguard by creating a mold of your teeth used to make the mouthguard that individually fits the unique contours of your teeth and mouth.
The fact that this type of mouthguard is custom-fitted means that it fits much better than any other type of mouthguard, making it significantly more comfortable and less likely to shift within your mouth while you are sleeping.
If you need a mouthguard to help you with teeth grinding, snoring, or sleep apnea, a custom-made mouthguard is the most appropriate treatment choice. Although they cost more than other types of mouthguards, many types of dental insurance will cover at least a portion of the cost.
Teeth grinding is a disorder that can lead to a variety of problems, such as jaw and tooth pain, as well as sore gums. It can even damage your teeth.
Wearing a custom-made mouthguard while sleeping can prevent your top and bottom teeth from grinding together, preventing damage to your teeth. In contrast, other types of mouthguards are uncomfortable, making it more difficult to sleep.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition causing an individual to stop breathing temporarily while sleeping. This can prevent oxygen from reaching the brain, increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
A custom-made mouthguard helps by pushing the lower jaw and tongue forward, which ensures that the airway remains open. Some types of sleep apnea mouthguards come with a strap that fits around the head and chin for the adjustment of the lower jaw.