If you unintentionally or unconsciously clench or grind your teeth, it is highly likely that you are suffering from a condition called bruxism. Though bruxism is not a life-threatening disease, it can cause damage to your teeth, muscles, and joints of the face, depending upon the duration and the intensity involved when you clench or grind your teeth. Not to worry though – you can tackle this condition by using a bruxism mouth guard.
What’s A Bruxism Mouth Guard?
A bruxism mouth guard is an appliance used to protect your teeth from the damage caused by habitual clenching or grinding. It covers your teeth and partly your gums.
Some Features Of The Bruxism Mouth Guard
A bruxism mouth guard:
- Acts as a shock absorber and protects your teeth by preventing contact between your upper and lower teeth
- Is usually transparent
- May be flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid
- Can cover either the upper or lower teeth
- Must be worn while you are sleeping
- Can be worn by both adults and children
A bruxism mouth guard can also be helpful in certain other situations, such as in contact sports (boxing and football), ailments of the jaw joint, stabilizing the upper and lower teeth, and dental procedures like tooth bleaching.
Questions To Ask While Buying A Bruxism Mouth Guard
To ensure that you get the right bruxism mouth guard for your problems, these are some of the questions that you should ask while picking one up.
- Will it cause difficulty during breathing?
- Is it durable?
- Is it easy to use i.e. is it easy to insert and remove the mouth guard?
- Is it easy to clean?
The Different Types Of Bruxism Mouth Guards
Stock/Ready-made Mouth Protectors
- They are manufactured in bulk in various sizes and are ready for instant use.
- They are reasonably priced, and are available at pharmacies and sports shops.
- As they are ready-made, they might be slightly ill-fitting. Adjustments cannot be made to improve their fit, but they can be trimmed a little using a pair of scissors.
- They are not routinely recommended by dentists.
Boil And Bite Mouth Protectors
- Also called mouth-adapted guards, these popular mouth guards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens on heating and hardens on cooling.
- They fit much better than ready-made mouth guards.
- Prior to use, place this mouth guard in hot water to soften it. Then place it in your mouth and gently adjust it over your teeth using your fingers and tongue.
Custom-fitted Mouth Protectors
- Made of resin, these mouth guards provide the best fit and comfort, and form the greatest shield when you grind your teeth.
- They are slightly expensive compared to the other options.
- These are intended for use only in a particular patient, and are made at the dentist’s clinic or in a dental laboratory.
- Your dentist needs to take a measurement of your teeth to make this type of mouth guard for you.
Is Your Bruxism Mouth Guard Comfortable To Wear?
When the mouth guard has been placed in your mouth, you must check for certain things:
- Is the mouth guard seated completely?
- Does it feel unsettled?
- Is it causing you any pain or discomfort?
- Are your gums feeling pinched as a result of wearing the mouth guard?
If you’ve answered any of these questions with a ‘yes’, do consult your dentist for further advice.
Various brands of mouth guards are available commercially, and manufacturers claim that there are mouth guards suited for a variety of conditions such as smaller mouths, sensitive gums, and severe bruxers. However, the best person to recommend a bruxism mouth guard would be your dentist, so make sure that you consult him before making a decision.