Orthodontists and dentists alike stress the importance of protecting teeth from the internal harm of decay and disease. However, it is just as important to protect your teeth from external force and trauma – everything from teeth grinding to obtaining an injury during a sporting event.
Mouthguards protect the teeth, jaw, and the soft tissues of the tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards can be classified into two main categories:
- Sports Mouthguards – used to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as football, basketball, hockey, boxing, karate, or any other activity where you may be hit in the mouth.
- Nightguards – used by patients who grind or clench their teeth at night; these nocturnal mouthguards protect the teeth and bite during your sleep.
Whenever you engage in intensive, potentially dangerous physical activity, it is important that you wear the right protection. For football players that means a helmet. For soccer players that means shin guards. For skateboarders that means elbow pads. But for all these activities, and many others, the quintessential protective accessory is the sports mouthguard. By engaging in physical activity without a sports mouthguard, you are at risk for:
- Broken Teeth
- Chipped Teeth
- Fractured Jaws
- Broken Braces/Brackets
- Root Damage to Teeth
Research shows that up to 1/3 of the population exhibits teeth grinding/clenching (typically at night while sleeping). When teeth grinding/clenching becomes chronic it can cause permanent damage to the teeth. Over time it wears down the surface of the teeth, which then leaves the soft dentin beneath the enamel exposed and vulnerable. As a result, you could experience:
- Chipped Teeth
- Tooth Flattening
- Cracked Enamel
- Tooth Loss
- Gum Recession
- Damaged Fillings.
Additionally, grinding/clenching the teeth at night can cause you to wake up with headaches, tooth pain, and a sore jaw. Never fear though; nightguards can alleviate pain, protect teeth from harmful long-term effects, and offer immediate relief to sleep stress.
Get Your Mouthguard Today
Coastal Carolina Orthodontics wants to help protect your teeth from pain and harm whenever possible. If you need a sports mouthguard for protection during physical activity, or a nightguard to treat teeth grinding and clenching, please contact our Jacksonville, Morehead City, or Havelock office to learn more, or request an appointment with one of our orthodontists today. We look forward to hearing from you!