Are you worried because of teeth grinding, also called bruxism? Then you might have been told by your dentist to get a mouthguard that can do the trick and stop it altogether.
Mouthguards are devices that help in protecting your teeth from clenching or grinding while you are sleeping. It also saves you from various injuries while playing sports. But not all mouthguards are similar. Based on your requirements, they are of various kinds, which are good for specific situations.
Different types of mouthguards
Stock mouthguards: A stock mouthguard is available widely and is the most affordable kind of mouthguard. You can quickly get them in a lot of sports goods stores as well as drug stores. Usually, they are available in small, medium, and big sizes and easily fit on your teeth. A stock mouthguard covers the top part of your teeth.
While it is straightforward to get stock mouthguards and is not very expensive, they have some downsides. Their fewer size options make them uncomfortable and do not offer a very tight fit. It is also difficult to talk while wearing a mouthguard.
Boil and bite mouthguards: Like the stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards are found in leading drugstores and are not very expensive. These mouthguards are available in one size you can personalize to fit your teeth. This includes boiling your mouthguard till it softens, keeping it in your front teeth, and biting. To get the best possible fit to ensure you follow all instructions that come with it.
Personalized mouthguards: You can also custom-made your mouthguard through your dentist. They will take a mold of your teeth and use it to make a mouthguard, especially for your teeth and mouth structure. This offers a good fit than the above two mouthguards and is more comfortable. It is also hard to get dislodge while you are sleeping.
If you tend to teeth grinding, snoring, or sleep apnea, then a custom-made mouthguard is one of the best options. Even though they are more expensive than the other over-the-counter mouthguards, much dental insurance covers their cost.
Which type of mouthguard should you use?
Even different kinds of mouthguards have a similar look, but they have other functions.
Teeth grinding: Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a kind of sleep-based movement disorder that causes several problems like tooth pain, sore gums, and jaw pain. It also damages your teeth. Wear a mouthguard while sleeping helps keep your top and bottom separated so that they do not hurt each other because of the pressure of teeth grinding.
In most cases, a custom-made mouthguard is best for bruxism as stock mouthguards are not easy to place and are uncomfortable, and boil and bite mouthguards become very weak if used frequently. If you are unsure about using a mouthguard to eliminate bruxism, you can try a boil and bite mouthguard for certain nights. If it helps, ask your dental doctor for a custom-made mouthguard.
Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is one of the sleep disorders that causes a person to stop breathing temporarily while sleeping. This prevents your brain from getting the required oxygen and enhances the risk of heart-related issues. It also leads to excess snoring and leaves you feeling restless the following day. Some people with sleep apnea use a CPAP machine that keeps their airways open while sleeping. But for mild sleep apnea, a custom-made mouthguard offers the same effect.
Rather than covering your mouth, a mouthguard for sleep apnea works well by pushing the lower jaw and the tongue forward, thereby keeping the airway open. Some types also strap around the head and chin to re-adjust the lower jaw. For this function, the boil and bite mouthguard cannot do anything.
Snoring: Mouthguards also help in decreasing snoring, which mainly happens because of the vibrations that occur in the soft tissue of your upper airways. Mouthguards work similarly to sleep apnea. Both functions by pulling the lower jaw in the forward direction to keep the airway open. You can get a lot of of-the-counter mouthguards in stores and online that claim to decrease snoring, but not much research has been done, and it is not sure whether they are effective in treating snoring. But if snoring affects your daily life, it's better to talk with your dentist about various mouthguard options.
A mouth guard is one of the best options for snoring, sports, or sleep apnea, but it's better to consult a dentist before using it. MyDentalPlan.in is one of the best platforms with several dentists to help you.
About the Author:
Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer
Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst