While many people are unaware that they grind their teeth, recurring headaches and jaw pain may provide a clue that they are grinding.
Various reasons occur that cause them to grind their teeth, such as misalignment, an abnormal bite or malocclusion, daily stress, and other factors. To protect their teeth, these individuals often need a mouth guard for either nighttime or occasional daytime relief.
Luckily, our San Antonio family dentist at Alon Dental Care, Dr. Kevin Sandefer, has the skill necessary to fashion you a sturdy mouth guard meant to keep your jaw aligned and your teeth in good condition.
Why Wear a Mouth Guard?
In some cases, frequent grinding of one’s teeth can result in fracturing. It can also cause loosening of the teeth if gum disease is present, ultimately leading to a loss of tooth structure.
Not only that, but people can actually grind down their teeth until they are–quite literally–stubs, changing the appearance of their face.
To fix this dental problem, a necessary process called full mouth rehabilitation must be performed and usually involves the placement of crowns and bridges to make the worn stubs look and function like teeth again.
By grinding on the plastic of the mouth guard instead of the opposing row of teeth, people with this problem can avoid damaging them. In fact, a mouth guard can even prevent, or at least minimize, the destruction of the overall tooth structure.
Choosing the Right Mouth Guard
Many patients come to Dr. Sandefer already using various types of bite guards, hard and soft, with various types of clasps to hold them in. In his San Antonio practice, Dr. Sandefer uses a combination of a hard, plastic outer surface with a soft inner layer of flexible material to get both the most retention and the most comfortable fit.
This more flexible combination is what his patients like best. Some patients don’t prefer a hard mouth guard, so Dr. Sandefer will provide those them with a soft mouth guard to help them stop the harm being done to their teeth.
Soft mouth guards wear out faster than the dual hard/soft mouth guards, but both need to be replaced in five years or less to provide the best protection for your teeth.
Dr. Sandefer and his hygienist can check your old mouth guard each time you come for a cleaning to detect any possible wear and tear. After that, the next step is getting you fitted for a new mouth guard to keep your teeth protected. Nothing lasts forever, especially in the moist and humid environment where mouth guards reside.
A San Antonio Family Dentist Working for You
In short, dental care is an important part of staying healthy. If you are interested in learning more about wearing a mouth guard, contact us at (210) 920-9947 to get you set up for an appointment. There, we can check your old mouth guard and also take impressions if a new mouth guard is needed.