At Smiles on the Canal, we encourage our patients to practice healthy oral and dental care. This doesn’t just include regular brushing, flossing, and going for check-ups periodically. Especially if you play sports or tend to grind your teeth in your sleep, you may need extra care.
Why Choose Occlusal Guards?
Many of our patients indulging in outdoor sports or struggling with problems like teeth grinding or clenching during sleep use occlusal guards, also known as splints. The term “occlusal” refers to the contact surface between your teeth, also known as chewing surfaces.
An occlusal guard would mean a device that protects or “guards” these chewing surfaces by breaking any direct tooth to tooth contact.
Nightguards to Prevent Grinding
Why does this surface need protection at all? Why does the contact need to be broken in the first place? While sleeping at night, some people tend to clench their teeth or grind them. Even during the day, we might be inclined to do the same.
Constant clenching and grinding can lead the enamel to wear down. Over time, tiny fractures may even start appearing on your teeth. This weakens your teeth, leading to breakage, teeth flattening, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, headaches, facial pain, and even gum loss.
During the day, it’s easier to be aware of your teeth clenching or grinding and stop yourself. But at night, while you are asleep, these actions become involuntary, and you have no way of controlling them.
This is where occlusal guards come in. Only by putting these on every night before going to bed, you can save yourself from all kinds of pain.
When you have this night guard in your mouth, it helps with breaking up that direct tooth-to-tooth contact while you grind or clench your teeth. So instead of your teeth, it’s the occlusal guard that takes all the damage.
Occlusal guards are also commonly worn by people who constantly engage in sports activities. This is because, during strenuous physical motion, accidents and injuries can happen any time, and these mouth guards limit the risk of various mouth-related injuries.
By wearing an occlusal guard, you lower your prospects of inflicting harm to your lips, tongue, soft tissues in your mouth, and teeth. In extreme cases of tooth damage, nerve damage can also happen, which an occlusal guard can prevent.
It is crucial to keep in mind that for the most effective results, you need to wear the right occlusal guard. Apart from having the perfect fit, you need to choose an occlusal guard depending on your needs and condition. For example, there are soft occlusal guards and hard occlusal guards, both of which have their own sets of pros and cons.
At Smiles on the Canal, our team of dental and oral professionals will take the time to carefully help you choose the perfect occlusal guard for you so you can see the best results. Have any more questions? Feel free to get in touch with us today.