At Smiles for Life in Harrisonburg, VA, we can design a custom mouthguard to address a range of issues, including sports injuries, nightly grinding, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, and sleep apnea. Whatever the reason you need to protect your teeth, Drs. Joe McIntyre, Dan Whiting, and Kelsey Rockey can assess your smile and design a customized guard.
Why Get a Custom Mouthguard?
If you need a mouthguard, you have a few alternatives available. One option is to buy a stock or boil-and-bite guard from a sporting goods store or drugstore. Because stock mouthguards are pre-formed, they are less expensive than other options. However, their size options are often limited, which can lead to an uncomfortable fit. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are similar to stock guards, although you can customize the fit slightly by boiling it before wearing it for the first time.
In most situations, however, completely custom mouthguards are the most comfortable and effective option. Dr. McIntyre, Whiting, and Rockey design every guard based on precise dental impressions to ensure that they fit securely and stay in place. While custom mouthguards are consequently more expensive than store-bought versions, your insurance company may cover a portion of the cost.
How Can a Mouthguard Help?
We provide mouthguards for a number of different functions at Smiles for Life, including:
High-impact sports, such as football, boxing, and hockey, pose a significant threat to your smile. An accident or injury during a game or practice can cause serious damage to your teeth or even knock one out altogether. Wearing a sports mouthguard consistently during athletic activities can protect against such damage and preserve your smile.
Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is a common issue that can cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth. Also known as bruxism, involuntary grinding and clenching often occur at night while you sleep. Although it is not always possible to stop yourself from grinding your teeth, a night guard fits over the top of your teeth to cushion the damaging effects and protect the chewing surfaces.
A mouthguard guides the jaw into a position that relieves symptoms of TMJ disorder.
The temporomandibular joints on either side of your jaw allow you to open and close your mouth. When they become inflamed, it can trigger symptoms such as facial pain, headaches, and ringing in the ears. A mouthguard guides the jaw into a position that relieves symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Sleep Apnea Mouthguards
Patients with sleep apnea regularly stop breathing during the night, preventing the brain from receiving oxygen. Untreated, this condition can cause serious health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Mouthguards designed to combat the effects of sleep apnea push the lower jaw forward to keep your airway clear while you sleep. However, patients should keep in mind that this treatment is most effective for mild sleep apnea. More severe cases may require a CPAP machine.
Find the Right Solution
At Smiles for Life, we offer multiple types of mouthguards, allowing us to find the treatment most suited to your needs. If you believe you need a mouthguard, contact our office online or call (540) 828-2312 to speak to a member of our team today.