A Guide to Nightguards and Mouthguards

It's important to keep your teeth protected. Some people and situations call for an actual guard to be placed around the teeth to prevent them from getting damaged. A nightguard can be useful for some patients who grind their teeth when sleeping, and a mouthguard could be a smart idea for those who play certain types of sports. Dr. Bridget Singh, DDS, can help you with either one of these dental products.

Nightguards and Grinding

Some people grind or clench their teeth at night. In the dental industry, we call this bruxism. It's not something that can be actively controlled since it occurs during sleep. If it happens frequently enough, it can damage the teeth. Wearing down the enamel on a tooth can lead to extra sensitivity, and it may even end up chipping or cracking a tooth. These are all reasons why bruxism is a problem that shouldn't be ignored. If you experience bruxism, a nightguard might be a useful tool. A nightguard is a plastic appliance that fits over your top teeth. When you grind or clench your teeth, the guard will take the impact instead of your teeth. That being said, nightguards aren't the only solution to bruxism that we should consider. Stress and sleep apnea can sometimes cause bruxism. We're ready to work with you in coordination with other professionals to address the cause of the bruxism.

The Importance of Mouthguards

Many people who visit us at our practice in Seattle lead active lifestyles. If you play a contact sport, it may be recommended, or even required, that you wear a mouthguard. This dental product can prevent injury to your lips, gums, jaw, tongue, and teeth in case of an impact. There are a few types of mouthguards that you may come across. The generic ones that you find in stores could be fine, but there's a chance that they might not fit you well. Another type that's widely available is a "boil and bite" version. Boiling softens the mouthguard, and then you bite down on it to mold it to your mouth. These can fit better, but again, they might not work for everyone. Finally, there are custom-fitted mouthguards that offer the most protection and best fit. If this is something you're interested in, we can help you with this.

Contact our office if you have questions or concerns about either one of these products. Our staff is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. We'd be happy to set up a consultation for you with Dr. Singh if you'd like to speak with us in person and hear more about your options.