Dental Mouthguard for Teeth Grinding

August 22, 2022

Do I Need a Dental Mouthguard?

Teeth grinding is a condition that affects many children, as well as adults. It can be caused by excessive stress and has effects that impact an individual's quality of life. Luckily, a solution is available that decreases the frequency of teeth grinding or eliminates the condition entirely.

Dental mouthguards are a device that are put in the mouth to protect teeth. These devices are made from a material that fits around the teeth and prevents teeth from grinding together. Mouthguards are worn in sports to protect teeth and gums, but are also very useful for teeth grinding. They come in different hardnesses, styles, and materials. There are benefits of dental mouthguards for kids you can consider.

Signs of Teeth Grinding 

Diurnal and nocturnal bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, affects millions of people. Diurnal bruxism is teeth grinding that happens any time, whereas nocturnal bruxism occurs during sleep at night. There are some common symptoms that may indicate you or your children have teeth grinding issues that can be treated. Signs of bruxism include:

  • Decreasing ability to open the mouth
  • Pain and soreness in the jaw
  • Temporal muscles may ache and be painful
  • Recurring headaches
  • Interrupted and disturbed sleep patterns
  • Increased chances of tooth fractures
  • Teeth are wearing quicker

If your child has any of these symptoms, they may be experiencing bruxism. It is important to talk with a pediatric dentist to learn about the benefits of dental mouthguards for kids. Your child will have normal tooth and jaw development if the correct mouthguard is used.

Benefits of Dental Mouthguards for Kids

There are several benefits of a dental mouthguard for kids. The reduction in teeth grinding can stop damage to the teeth such as fractures and broken teeth. Another positive effect is eliminating pain and soreness from grinding teeth. Pressure exerted on the upper and lower jaw is relieved when a dental mouthguard is used. Mouthguards may be worn at night or during the day time depending on a child's individual needs.

Using a mouthguard for grinding teeth has many benefits that children will enjoy. They can save a child's teeth from permanent damages and reduce pain. It is worth exploring this option for children who grind their teeth as part of a good oral care routine.

Dental Mouthguards and TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a painful condition that happens when jaws are misaligned. TMJ has a connection to teeth grinding and those with this condition might benefit from a mouthguard. In extreme bruxism the jaws may become misaligned by severe teeth grinding which can be one cause of TMJ. With a properly custom fitted mouthguard bruxism can be reduced or eliminated which will greatly reduce the risk of developing TMJ.

Types of Mouthguards

While mouthguards are typically thought of being used in sports activities, a mouthguard for grinding teeth can also be an effective tool for this common issue. Mouthguards come in different types that include:

  • Boil and bite - These mouthguards are first put in hot water to soften the thermoplastic material. The child bites down on the guard to make a fitted impression of their teeth. The mouthguard is cooled and ready for use. 
  • Custom fit - Adjustable custom fit type of mouthguard is done by a pediatric dentist. An impression of a child's teeth is taken and a perfect fitting mouthguard is made.
  • One-size-fits-all - While this kind of mouthguard may be affordable it may not be ideal. As the name implies it is not a custom fitting guard and wearing may cause pain due to poor fit. It is an option that might work for some children, but a custom fitted mouthguard for teeth grinding is recommended.

Using the wrong guard can result in damage to a child's developing teeth. It is crucial to understand the best options for a child's teeth grinding behavior as they may grow out of it without lasting damage. On the other hand, ignoring a potentially damaging problem could cause poor development of a child's teeth. Consulting with a pediatric dentist can help you make the best choice of mouthguard for your child if they need one.

Gentle Pediatric Dental Care

If you live in or near Idaho Falls, ID or Alpine, WY, contact us at Baker Pediatric Dentistry for quality pediatric dental services. Give us a call at 208-524-5050 or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment with us to explore the benefits of dental mouthguards for kids. We look forward to providing your child with the most compassionate dental care possible.

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