Gentle Dentistry

Can I Use My Sports Mouth Guard for Bruxism?

Dentist In Kalamazoo, MI

mouth guard for bruxism kalamazoo miNo, you can’t use your sports mouth guard for bruxism. A night guard has a different purpose and design from what you’d wear on the football field.

Wearing the wrong oral appliance can lead to injury. This is why you should always consult with our dentist before using any sort of guard for your teeth. Dr. Busch-Abbate would be more than happy to help you choose the right oral appliance for your smile.

Here’s why you should never wear your sports mouth guard at night.

Plaque Will Attack Your Gums

Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives on your teeth and gums. If left untreated, plaque can inflame your gums and lead to periodontitis.

Your best natural defense against plaque is saliva.

Saliva helps neutralize cavity-causing acids and wash away food particles. But saliva can’t reach your gums when you’re wearing a sports mouth guard.

A mouth guard covers your teeth and gums, protecting them from blunt force trauma. Unfortunately, it also traps bacteria against the surface of your gums while you sleep.

It’s fine to cover your gums for an hour or two but not 8 hours a night, 7 nights a week. That’s why you can wear your sports mouth guard for a game or practice, but not while you sleep.

A night guard only covers your teeth, especially the biting surfaces. Depending on the design, a night guard may also have holes that allow saliva to wash over the teeth. A night guard is much healthier for you to wear at night than a sports mouth guard.

Ask Dr. Busch-Abbate about getting a night guard for bruxism. Your gums will thank you!

Teeth Grinding ≠ Blunt Force Trauma

Bruxism and blunt force trauma cause different types of injuries. This is why Dr. Busch-Abbate offers custom night guards to her patients who grind their teeth at night.

Dental labs make sports mouth guards out of thick material to absorb the shock of impact. This design helps prevent injury if something or someone were to collide with your skull.

If you wore an athletic mouth guard at night, it would prop open your mouth by several millimeters. Over time, your bite would change and your teeth wouldn’t fit together right. This is why night guards have a thinner design compared to athletic mouth guards.

With bruxism, the muscles in your jaw tense as you clench or grind your teeth together. Night guards form a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Wearing a night guard greatly decreases the likelihood of teeth grinding injury.

Call Gentle Dentistry

Call our dental office if you suspect you grind or clench your teeth at night. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner we can make your custom night guard.

During your appointment, we will record digital scans and send them to the lab. We’ll call you and schedule your second appointment once your night guard is ready. When you arrive at our office, we’ll check the fit of your night guard to ensure it’s safe and comfortable.

Our dentist, is accepting new patients! To request an appointment with Gentle Dentistry, call (269) 381-3890. We’d be more than happy to set you up as a new patient!

Emergency Dental Care

Our dental office treats many types of traumatic dental injuries, such as teeth that have been chipped, moved, or knocked out. Please contact our Kalamazoo, MI office for help with a dental emergency.

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