Who Can Benefit From a Mouth Guard

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that certainly applies to your teeth. If you protect your teeth, they can last a lifetime, but once you lose adult teeth, your only option is to replace them with dentures, bridges, or dental implants

While those are excellent options if you need them, it’s infinitely better to avoid tooth damage or loss in the first place. Dr. Benjamin Wang and our team here at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, specialize in restoring bright, healthy smiles through cosmetic treatments such as Invisalign®, crowns, and veneers. But we’re even more passionate about helping you keep your natural teeth looking and functioning beautifully. 

In addition to a faithful home hygiene routine and regular professional cleanings, one of the best ways to ensure your teeth live a long, healthy life is to protect them with a mouth guard. We custom design these removable appliances to fit the unique contours of your mouth. But how do you know if a mouth guard is right for you? 

Here are the three types of people who should wear a mouth guard.

People who grind their teeth

Grinding, gnashing, clenching — call it what you will, it’s all technically bruxism. It can happen while you’re wide awake or in a deep sleep, but either way, it’s an unconscious habit that affects up to 31% of Americans. For most, bruxism is a symptom of anxiety, frustration, stress, or anger, but it can also be caused by certain medications, genetics, and some medical conditions, such as GERD, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy to name a few. 

Left unchecked, bruxism damages your teeth, leading to severe pain and susceptibility to infection. It may also cause:

If this sounds familiar, you may need a mouth guard. Dr. Wang takes an impression of your teeth so the lab can manufacture a mouth guard that fits your mouth precisely and feels comfortable. Most important, it saves your teeth.

People who snore

If you snore, you may think your partner bears the brunt of the problem, as the loud noise keeps them from getting a solid night’s sleep. But even though you think it doesn’t affect you, snoring takes its toll on the snorer as well. 

At the very least, snoring can give you a sore throat, dry mouth, and headache. At worst, snoring may be a symptom of a serious medical condition called sleep apnea. If you have this condition, your airway gets blocked when you relax and fall asleep. Of course, this causes the telltale snoring, but it also leads to:

Dr. Wang can help correct obstructive sleep apnea with a simple, custom-designed mouth guard that repositions your jaw and keeps your airway open. 

People who play sports

Whether you play a contact sport, like football, hockey, or boxing, or you’re involved in a solo sport, like cycling or gymnastics, your teeth are always at risk. Impact with another athlete, a fall, or a flying piece of equipment all have the potential to harm your teeth. But a mouth guard effectively puts a force field around them, sheltering your teeth from impact and absorbing the shock of a blow. 

Do you need a mouth guard?

To find out if you need a mouth guard, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Wang for a complete evaluation. He can let you know if you have bruxism or sleep apnea, and can evaluate the extent of the damage already done. 

If a mouth guard will prevent further damage, he starts the process that leads to a personalized appliance made just for you. To learn more, call us today or book an appointment online

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