Mouthguards: What Are They, What They Do

Mouthguards: What Are They, What They Do

Some people may need mouth guards for different reasons. These include contact sports and grinding of teeth. They are not only for adults but children too. They keep your child’s teeth safe as they play their favorite sport. They also save you money in the process.


What Are Mouthguards?


Mouthguards are dental devices that cover your teeth. They also protect your gums, tongue, and cheek from grinding and clenching as you sleep or when playing sports. They can also relieve obstructive sleep apnea and reduce snoring.


Types of Mouth Guards


Not all mouthguards are the same. Depending on your need, there are three main types of mouth guards. These include:


  • Stock mouth guards
  • Boil-and-bite mouth guards
  • Custom-made mouth guards


Stock Mouth Guards


They are affordable and widely available in most sporting goods stores. They come in different sizes: small, medium, and large. Most of them only cover the top teeth.


Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards



These are thermoplastic, meaning you can shape them to fit your teeth by placing them in hot boiling water. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However, make sure you follow the instructions.


Custom-made Mouth Guards


As the name suggests, it is custom-made by the dentist. They will use a mold to create a mouth guard specifically for your teeth. It provides a much better fit than any other type of mouthguard.


What Do They Do?


They cover the teeth and surrounding parts in the mouth. The aim is to prevent or reduce trauma to the teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, and cheeks. The protection can be for sports, teeth grinding, snoring, and sleep apnea.


Protection During Sports


Certain high-impact sports present the risk of falling or getting an impact injury on your face. The mouth guard will help protect your teeth and prevent them from injuring your tongue and cheek. It is vital for high-impact sports like football, boxing, rugby, hockey, or wrestling.


Protection Against Teeth Grinding


Bruxism is a condition where you clench and grind your teeth when asleep. It can cause jaw pain, damage the teeth, and make your gum sore. Wearing a mouth guard will separate your bottom teeth from the top ones. It will stop the damage from the clenching and grinding. Most mouth guards for teeth grinding are custom-made for the perfect fit.


Reduce Snoring


Snoring results from vibrations of the soft tissue in the upper part of your airway. Mouthguards reduce these vibrations by pulling the lower jaw and tongue forward. It helps keep your airway open, preventing obstruction.


If you snore, it interferes with your daily life. You can talk with your dentist about it. They can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard to keep your airway open.


Control Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where you temporarily stop breathing while you sleep. It prevents the brain from getting enough oxygen. When you wake up, you feel groggy and worn-out even though you have had a whole night of sleep.


Sleep apnea can also result in excessive snoring. It can lead to a stroke or heart disease if you take no action to deal with it. You can use a custom-made mouthguard. In this case, a mouth guard will work the same way as in snoring. It will push the lower jaw and tongue forward to keep your airway open.

For more information on mouthguards, visit Jonny Fisher DDS at our office in Pullman, Washington. You can also call (509) 383-8300 to schedule an appointment today.

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