Do you or your child play sports? At Halliburton Family Dentistry, we offer custom sports mouthguards as a general dentistry service for our patients in Ellicott City, MD. Sports mouthguards are required for contact sports like lacrosse, soccer, basketball, and football. They protect the teeth and gums from injury and loss. Our mouthguards are custom-tailored to each patient, so they can play without distractions.
Store-Bought vs. Custom Sports Mouthguards
Over-the-counter or store-bought mouthguards are advertised as one size fits all. You boil them and bite down on the mouthguard to fit them to your smile. But this doesn’t create a good, customized fit. They’re hard to keep in your mouth, and you must clench your teeth continuously to keep the mouthguard in. You can’t communicate with your teammates or get a quick drink of water when you’re playing.
Constantly clenching your teeth brings problems to your jaw joint as well. Stress and pressure grind down the cartilage disc in your jaw, making the joint malfunction and causing pain and soreness to the area. Severe cases of this lead to TMJ disorders. Your jaw can get locked into position, or you may have trouble properly opening and closing your mouth. Your jaw can pop or lock when you’re chewing. Chronic headaches and pain throughout the face and neck can occur.
Custom mouthguards allow you to avoid all of these issues. They fit snugly in your mouth, so you don’t have to clench your jaw to keep the mouthguard in. You can also talk or drink water when it’s in your mouth. You’re more comfortable and spend less time worrying about keeping your mouthguard in and just focus on the game you’re playing.
Receiving a Sports Mouthguard
We will take impressions of your teeth to ensure that your mouthguard fits properly. Your dental impression is sent to a dental lab for fabrication. Once the mouthguard is complete, we ensure it feels comfortable in the mouth. Patients should clean their sports mouthguard after every use. You can wash the mouthguard with warm water and soap. We will provide a ventilated case where you can store your mouthguard so it does not get damaged.
Can I Use a Sports Mouthguard to Treat TMJ?
We do not recommend that patients who suffer from TMJ disorders use sports mouthguards to treat their symptoms. Temporomandibular joint disorders cause jaw clenching and teeth grinding, damaging the tooth enamel. We offer custom-fit nightguards to each patient to keep the teeth from touching. They also prevent teeth from grinding together. Although nightguards and other oral appliances are similar to sports mouthguards, we do not recommend using sports mouthguards for TMJ treatment.
Sports mouthguards and TMJ mouthguards are made from different materials because they’re designed for different things. Sports mouthguards are a lighter, bulkier material that absorbs shocks. It’s not meant to protect teeth against grinding and clenching. If you wear it for that, it deteriorates easily and doesn’t actually protect your teeth anymore. You damage both the mouthguard and your teeth.
The same goes for using a TMJ mouthguard for sports. TMJ mouthguards are made of thin, harder plastic. They cannot protect your teeth if a ball hits your mouth or another trauma occurs because they can’t absorb any shocks. You’re still at risk of getting your tooth knocked out or damaging your smile.
Request an Appointment Today
Do you need a new sports mouthguard for the upcoming season? Schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Halliburton online. You may also call her office at 443.232.0656.