Mouthguards and nightguards (bite plates)

Mouthguards

The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports dental injuries as the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. They wrote that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth while not wearing a protective mouthguard. Often times these injuries will result in permanent damage to oral structures which require medical intervention.

Mouthguards protect your teeth from injury resulting from contact sport or trauma. It is effective in minimizing the effect of concussion. Mouthguards can even reduce injury to the lips and soft tissue of the mouth.

We provide you with a custom-fit mouth guard that is vacuum formed to fit your mouth very accurately. The superior fit and comfort provide effective protection against the effects of any facial trauma that may occur.

Therefore, we advise you to have a custom fit mouthguard made with your dentist and not use a "one-size-fits-all" temperature moulded mouthguard.

They are available in a wide variety of colours and can be tailor made for school teams and sport organizations. It is important to remember damaged teeth do not grow back. Protect that perfect smile – wear a mouthguard.

Nightguards

Nightguards are also know in dental terms as bite plates and protect the teeth and jaw joints from the effects of clenching and grinding (bruxing) of teeth during sleep.

Most often patients are not even aware that they are grinding their teeth, since bruxing is performed in a subconscious reflex-controlled level.

Most patients only recognise the habit once it is brought to their attention by their sleeping partner or dentist. Children as young as two years old have been shown to grind their teeth during sleep.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing bruxing is not very easy, and apart from a spouse or roommate hearing audible grinding sounds, it is sometimes only a dentist who can make the diagnosis. The effects of bruxing may be quite advanced before patients are even aware that they are grinding their teeth.

Dentist can identify signs of bruxism by looking for abrasion lesions on teeth during a routine dental examination.

If enough enamel has been worn away by bruxing, the softer dentine will be exposed and the damage will accelerate. This can lead to dental decay and tooth fracture, and in some people, gum recession. Early intervention by a dentist is advisable. It is also important to note that bruxism can easily ruin prosthetic dental work.

Symptoms

Grinding of teeth has been associated with:

  • frequent headaches
  • sore joints of the jaw
  • sore and stiff jaw muscles
  • a tired feeling in the jaws in the morning
  • locking of the jaws
  • pain in the neck, throat, shoulders and face are also frequent complaints.

Bruxing also results in various dental problems that includes:

  • excessive wear of the teeth resulting in aesthetically unacceptable shortening of the length of the teeth
  • sharp edges
  • wearing down of the enamel on top of the teeth
  • fracturing of teeth, fillings or crowns.

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