Do I need a Mouth Guard?

 In Blog, General Dentistry, Info Articles, Mouth Guard

do I need a mouth guard - shreveport's dentist dr. ben kacos

Do I need a Mouth Guard?

What is a mouth guard?

A mouth guard (or night guard) is a cover made of silicone that is placed on top of all the teeth, in order to protect them from harm and excessive forces. The reason it’s called a night guard is that most people need to wear it at night. This is when they are unaware of the clenching and grinding they do to their teeth while sleeping.

Who needs a night guard?

People who clench and grind their teeth together definitely could benefit from a night guard. While most people grind their teeth at night, some are so stressed that they do it in the daytime. Majority of people who grind their teeth frequently are not aware of the situation until symptoms begin to appear.

How do I know if I need a mouth guard?

Teeth clenching is often a concealed phenomenon, meaning it has no direct consequences in the short term. Unlike other conditions that happen to the teeth like decay and gum disease, which could be detected instantaneously.  That is why it poses a challenge when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Kacos, Your local dentist in Shreveport, LA, explains some of the signs and symptoms that occur to teeth grinding so that you could be able to seek his help:

  1. Fragile teeth: When you get a feeling that your teeth break up easily, with no apparent cause, you may suffer from teeth grinding.
  2. Sensitivity: Teeth grinding eats away at the enamel, that is the protective layer that is present on the surface of the teeth. When this layer disappears, you would start feeling sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, as well as citrus, orange, and other acidic beverages.
  3. Signs of tooth wear: A direct consequence of the enamel disappearing – other than sensitivity- is the appearance of signs of teeth wear. You would start to notice some bright yellowish spots in the middle of the white of your teeth.
  4. Jaw and muscle pain: Prolonged periods of teeth clenching have a detrimental effect on your jaw joint and muscles. If you wake up with a feeling of pain in front of your ear, or experience pain when talking and eating in the muscles of your face, you should seek help at once, as the consequences are quite severe if you don’t.
  5. Headaches: We asked our friend Dr. Taher Dhoon, a dentist in Greeley, CO about common signs that indicate the need of mouth guard. Dr. Dhoon says, Headaches are often overlooked symptom. If you wake up with a headache that is located on the sides of your head and your temple region, this is due to teeth clenching and grinding during the night.”

How are night guards made?

The procedure is very simple. All you have to do is go to the dentist where Dr. Kacos will take an impression to fit you for the night guard. It can be made for either the upper or lower jaws. You would need to replace it every few months. This is because the silicone tends to get deformed and even punctured due to continuous biting and grinding.

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