A mouth guard is an oral protective appliance placed over a person’s teeth when engaging in athletic activities that could risk injury to their jaw or tooth structures. These sports are called “contact sports” and include boxing, football, soccer, hockey, and other high-impact sports. Some non-contact sports, such as gymnastics and skateboarding, may also require a mouth guard to protect the individual’s mouth from potential injury. Whether or not they are worn in such situations, mouthguards are highly encouraged for children and adults who participate in these activities to prevent chipped, broken, or lost teeth due to accidental impact from a fall, ball, or other objects. This is especially helpful for children who play contact sports as adolescents, as they may still be in their developmental years when their teeth are at the most significant risk of injury.
At Select Dental Care, mouth guards are also made to help correct specific bite problems, primarily TMJ disorders, which can cause severe discomfort in the jaw joint area. This can cause difficulty speaking, chewing, and even biting down comfortably on food without experiencing pain or irritation to their jaw.
Using a mouth guard can help protect your teeth from injury, especially if you play contact sports or participate in a recreational activity that could result in a blow to the face. A mouth guard can also prevent you from experiencing excessive tooth wear, which can occur when you grind and clench your teeth at night while sleeping. Wearing a mouth guard can help avoid temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a condition that affects the jaw joints and the muscles in your face that control your jaw movements. It can cause pain in your jaw joints, face, and head. Although the causes of TMD are mainly unknown, many dentists believe it frequently occurs due to teeth grinding, clenching, or other improper oral habits. If left untreated, TMD could cause tooth loss, changes in bite due to the pressure of the jaw shifting out of place, headaches, and more.
If you are concerned about suffering from TMD or another oral health problem, contact Select Dental Care at 774 SW Rimrock Way, Redmond, OR 97756, or call (541) 923-7633. Our dentist can examine your smile for signs of damage and provide a treatment plan to treat any current issues and prevent future complications.