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Mouthguards and Splints Guide at A Plus Dental

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Mouthguards, Splints

mouthguards and splints guide at a plus dental

Sometimes, our patients visit A Plus Dental and ask us about “mouthguards” and “splints.”

But mouthguards and mouth splints do not mean the same thing in the dental world.

The difference between a mouthguard and a splint is expressed in their names:

A guard protects you, so mouthguards protect your teeth, while a splint holds two parts in position to prevent harmful movement—that’s precisely what dental splints do.

This means that mouthguards and mouth splints treat entirely different dental conditions.

Mouthguards typically protect against external damage, while mouth splints protect against damage caused within the mouth.

Let’s look at these two similar appliances with different sounds!

Mouth splints and bruxism

Tooth grinding is a medical condition called bruxism. Untreated bruxism wears down your natural tooth enamel.

Those who grind and clench their teeth may experience nearly 80 times the normal wear and tear.

Splints provide many benefits for tooth grinders. They are custom-made and comfortable. 

They relieve neck, head, jaw, and shoulder pain while protecting existing teeth and dental restorations.

Mouth splints and TMJ Dysfunction

Many people suffer from unexplained earaches, dizziness, and face, head, neck, shoulder, and back pain without knowing the cause of their pain.

At one time, patients seeking medical cures for these types of problems were told it was “all in their mind.”

Today, however, a condition called TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome is known to be responsible for many of these painful ailments.

The key to TMJ treatment is treating the underlying problem, not the symptoms. With new awareness and technology, dentists can diagnose and address TMJ problems that might previously have been overlooked.

Mouth splints may be used to protect teeth from grinding and eliminate bite pain and disharmony.

In some cases, permanent treatment is prescribed to duplicate the appliance’s effects.

The importance of mouthguards for athletes

  • It is estimated that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.
  • An athlete without a mouthguard is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth.
  • Sports-related dental trauma accounts for over 600,000 emergency room visits each year.
  • Athletes using generic mouthguards are doubly likely to suffer a concussion than those wearing custom-built mouthguards.

Let’s go over the essential functions of the mouthguard:

  • Mouthguards help prevent bruising and cuts from impact.
  • Mouthguards help prevent tooth dislocation or fracture by cushioning the teeth.
  • Opposite teeth are kept from contact with each other.
  • The bottom jaw bone is protected, so the impact does not fracture or damage.
  • Mouthguards help reduce concussive injury to the brain. Without a mouthguard, an impact on the mouth can cause the jaws to clash violently, resulting in a concussion.
  • Mouthguards can be a preventative tool against neck injuries.
  • Mouthguards help athletes feel more confident and protected.

Usually, mouthguards cover your upper teeth. However, dentists may recommend that athletes with protruding jaws, braces, or other dental appliances (such as retainers, bridgework, or implant-supported dentures) on their lower jaw wear a mouthguard on their lower teeth as well.

Types of Mouthguards

Over-the-counter mouthguards are smooth, preformed, u-shaped trays covering the entire top row to prevent lower and upper teeth from clashing.

The most common over-the-counter mouthguards are shaped using a method called “boil and bite.”

The mouthguard is boiled as instructed, and the plastic becomes pliable.

The heated mouthguard is then carefully placed in the mouth and bitten down on. Additional adjustment or trimming may be necessary.

Significant downsides to OTC guards are that they are made of thin plastic, you have to be very careful when moulding them, they can be easily bitten through, they aren’t comfortable, and their fit is questionable.

In almost all cases, custom-fitted mouthguards are a superior option.

Custom-fitted mouthguards allow effortless breathing and absorb shocks from impact to your teeth and jaws. Because they fit perfectly, they stay put in your mouth.

A custom mouthguard can help prevent costly dental procedures such as reconstructive surgery or emergency dental work.

But here is the good news. Whether you need mouth splints to protect against internal threats or mouthguards to protect your teeth or those of a sporty relative or child, at A Plus Dental, we can help you.

Give us a call!

More about mouthguards and splints in Campbelltown

It All Adds Up at A Plus Dental!

A Plus Dental believes in honesty, trust, individuality, compassion and comfort.

Our goal is to give our Campbelltown area patients, from infants to seniors, caring, relaxing treatments in a comfortable environment.

When you choose A Plus Dental, you take the next step towards a beautiful, healthy smile with teeth that feel great in your mouth!!

We have over 30 years of combined experience and treat each patient with the utmost care and respect.

Call your Campbelltown dentist on (02) 4627 3833 or visit us at Suite 3/300 Queen Street in Campbelltown.

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