Mouthguards are an effective way to keep your smile protected when playing sports and if you suffer from nightly teeth grinding.
They are great at giving your teeth padding from impact, and they come in all kinds of options so finding the perfect one is relatively easy. However, there are some circumstance where wearing a mouthguard is not the right thing to do.
One reason we see many people wearing a mouthguard is to help stop nighttime teeth grinding. While mouthguards effective at preventing damage to your teeth from nighttime teeth grinding, many people opt to buy an over the counter guard which can actually cause more harm than good. Many over the counter mouth guards aren't specifically designed to be slept in and cause serious obstruction to your airway while you sleep. Instead of using an over the counter guard, it may be necessary to get a dental splint instead.
Times When Mouthguards Won't Help
Dental splints help teeth grinding by not allowing the teeth to come in contact with one another like a mouthguard. An advantage of a dental splint over a mouthguard is that they are way less obstructive than a mouthguard. When your airway is blocked while sleeping, your brain will tell you to wake up.
Because sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea are commonly associated with teeth grinding, adding a mouthguard that restricts your airflow won't help you get a better night's rest and may even make your sleep worse.
Before going out to get a mouthguard, please consider coming into our office for a visit. We have experience with people who thought they needed a nighttime mouthguard, and they always wish they would have come and saw us first. We're always happy to help anyone with questions, so don't be afraid to ask us about what option is best for you.