We are living in one of the most stressed-out times in the history of mankind. In fact, in a recent Gallup Global Emotions Report, the UK was 46th in the list of most positive countries. That’s not all. At least a third of the people interviewed suffered from stress.
The problem isn’t only that people are more stressed, but that stress harms our health. Stress can cause sleep problems, digestion problems, chest pains, headaches, grinding teeth, and more.
That’s where mouth guards come in handy. Maybe you are in a phase of your life where the stress you are feeling is unavoidable. It may pass soon, or it may not. But you can do something to ensure your teeth aren’t harmed by it.
When you are stressed out, you tend to clench your teeth and or grind your teeth at night. This may cause your teeth to wear down over time, resulting in issues with your increased sensitivity and tooth loss.
It’s not like a mouthguard for sleeping is hard to use or buy. Read on to see what mouth guards are and how you can use them to protect your teeth.
Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards vs. Custom-Made Mouthguard for Sport
Mouth guards aren’t only used for teeth grinders but also for athletes who wish to protect their teeth while playing contact high-impact sports, like football, lacrosse, or cricket.
There are two different ways you can get a mouth guard that works for you. You could buy an over-the-counter mouth guard that isn’t custom-built for you but is a generic size-fits-all kind.
Some of them can be used right out of the packet, which is fine if you have a standard-sized mouth (but who really does).
There are others that are boil-and-bite, in which you boil the mouth guard and then bite down on it to customize it to your mouth. With the over-the-counter mouth guards, you are not assured of a complete fit in your mouth.
It could result in issues if you have to wear them for long periods of time, where your mouth guard starts bumping against your lips, tongue, or palate, causing discomfort.
The other option is to go to a professional dentist and get a custom mouth guard built for your mouth.
It will be much more comfortable to use, and bonus, if your teeth move around and things get uncomfortable, you can go back to your dentist to get your mouth guard adjusted.
Perfect Fit Mouth Guards
If you are buying a mouth guard for a child whose mouth is still growing and constantly changing, then a custom mouth guard is the way to go.
This way, the mouth guard can be adjusted every few weeks to accommodate your growing child’s mouth.
There are four ways to tell if your mouth guard is a perfect fit for you or not:
1. It shouldn’t make you gag, and if it does, then it isn’t a perfect fit
2. Your mouth guard should fit in your mouth without you clenching your teeth or mouth against it
3. It should fit over part of your gums so that it is protecting that area as well
4. Your mouth guard shouldn’t interfere with your speech or breathing
If the four points above don’t apply to your mouth guard, then you are good to go.
How Do Mouth Guards Work for Sleeping
There is a condition called Bruxism, which includes both teeth clenching and teeth grinding, which could be stress-related. Bruxism can wear down your teeth over time, so a night mouth guard is used to prevent that from happening.
Usually, these mouth guards for teeth grinding are worn while you are asleep so that when you do clench or grind your teeth, you don’t wear down your teeth over time.
The grinding mouth guard forms a sort of soft plastic barrier between your top and bottom teeth so that you can’t grind them against each other, and thus protect them from wear and tear.
If you have sleep apnea or you are a snorer, there are mouth guards available for you as well. Also, people with braces can wear mouth guards, but those would have to be custom-built by your dentist or orthodontist.
Do Mouth Guard Go on Top or Bottom
If you are using a mouth guard for protecting in high-impact sports, then it would cover your upper teeth only. But you can get a custom mouth guard that would cover your bottom teeth as well.
For teeth grinders, a night mouth guard goes on your bottom teeth because that gives the best results. But if you cannot wear a night guard on your bottom teeth for some reason, then a dentist can make a custom night guard for your upper teeth.
Dental Night Guard Side-Effects
The side effects of a dental night guard are minimal and are usually worth the benefits of a night guard.
In general, if your custom night guard is causing your discomfort, irritation, or pain, go to your dentist, and they will be able to adjust it for you.
Some other side effects that could happen are shifting teeth, jaw misalignment or pain, poor fit, causing soreness, pain, or pressure.
These might be your mouth getting used to a strange item, or it could be a bigger problem that needs to be fixed. It’s always a good idea to go back to your dentist and ask for a readjustment.
If you are uncomfortable with your night guard, you won’t use it, and that negates the whole point of it.
Good Oral Health Could Mean Using a Mouth Guard to Protect Your Teeth
Sometimes life comes at you fast, and there’s no way to go around it. When the stormy seas abound, and your body is taking the brunt of it, using mouth guards is a great idea to protect your teeth from further damage.
Having strong pearly whites in your old age is everyone’s ideal.
If you would like to get a custom mouth guard, book a free Zoom consultation with our dental practice today!