Dr. Craig S. Kohler is a leading dentist serving patients in and around Chicago. He offers comprehensive general dentistry and family dental care services, with a focus on total wellness.

Part of total dental wellness involves proper preventative care. Mouth guards are a crucial part of this, which we’d like to consider in more detail right now.

What Is a Mouth Guard?

A mouth guard is a kind of protective retainer that is custom created to a patient. The mouth guard is worn in order to protect the teeth, gums, and tongue from harm.

Custom Mouth Guards Have Multiple Uses

There are multiple uses for mouth guards, both from a preventative dentistry standpoint as well as a general dentistry standpoint. Your dentist will be able to craft a mouth guard for you based on your needs.

Let’s look at three types of people who would benefit from having a mouth guard created for their needs.

Mouth Guards Can Help Protect the Smiles of Athletes

Athletes at all levels are great candidates for mouth guards. This means professionals, student athletes, and even just weekend warriors. Mouth guards are great for the following contact and combat sports:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Mixed martial arts (MMA)

Even athletes in non-contact sports that are very physical can benefit from wearing a mouth guard. In particular, people who play basketball and soccer should consider having a mouth guard in place.

Custom mouth guards made by your dentist are more ideal than the stock mouth guards that you can buy at the sporting goods store. They’re more comfortable, which means you can protect your teeth without ruining your edge.

Mouth Guards Are Important for Treating Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding is a condition in which people gnash, clench, and shift their teeth while they are asleep. The condition is commonly caused by poor dental alignment, excessive stress, the use of certain medications, or a combination of all three. Left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage, gum recession, and jaw pain.

Using a mouth guard during sleep is a common part of the treatment process. Referred to as a night guard or bite guard in these instances, the mouth guard helps prevent direct contact between your upper and lower teeth and protects you from harm in the process.

Mouth Guards Are Part of Treating Many TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders are a common problem that many people misunderstand. The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that is located where the lower jaw meets the skull. This joint may not function properly as a result in teeth grinding, arthritis, injury to the jaw, and a host of other reasons.

If the TMJ disorder is the result of teeth grinding, the use of a mouth guard is a common part of the treatment process. This will help reduce the stress on the jaw and alleviate pain. The mouth guard is just one facet of the treatment, however, as your dentist will work to address the root cause of the jaw joint dysfunction.

Contact Dr. Craig S. Kohler

For more information about the use of mouth guards in dental care treatment and how they can help you, contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Craig S. Kohler looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest smile possible.