How Important are Sports Guards and Night Guards?

Mouth guards are special dental devices worn over your teeth to protect them from harm. Two of the most common types of mouthguards are sports guards and night guards. Each serves a specific purpose in preserving dental health and safety. We offer customized mouth guards at White Sage Dentistry, Salem, Oregon, to meet our patient’s unique dental needs.

Athletic Mouth Guard / Sports Guard

If you or any member of your family plays sports, you can benefit from an athletic mouth guard to protect your teeth from accidental injury. A customized sports guard will protect you against dental trauma on the sports field. Without proper protection, you run the risk of extensive damage to your gums, jaw, or teeth due to sports collisions. Athletic mouthguards form a protective cushion for your teeth to keep them from chipping, fracturing, or breaking. Sports guards can also keep you from accidentally biting your gums, tongue, or cheeks.

Night Guard for Teeth

A night guard can protect you from tooth damage caused by Bruxism, aka tooth grinding. Some people clench or grind their teeth in their sleep, leading to problems with chipped or cracked teeth. Other symptoms of Bruxism are:

  • Morning headaches due to the pressure of constantly clenching or grinding your teeth 
  • Worn teeth that are more susceptible to decay and breakage
  • TMJ pain
  • Pain when chewing or speaking
  • Chronic tiredness due to poor sleep

Wearing a night guard over your top or bottom teeth can protect them from the ill effects of Bruxism. A custom-fitted night guard offers both comfort and protection against tooth grinding to preserve your smile. Wearing a night guard can help reduce headaches in the morning and may even improve your sleep.

To reduce TMJ pain, we can design a TMJ night guard for your use. A night guard for TMJ keeps your jaw in alignment as you sleep to minimize problems with clenching your teeth. This can help relieve TMJ pain while also protecting your teeth.

For more information about protective mouth guards for your teeth, contact White Sage Dentistry in Salem, OR at (503) 877-1626.

Why would I need a night guard?

You may need a night guard, or a special mouth guard you wear at night, if you have bruxism or TMJ issues. Bruxism, or grinding your teeth at night, can cause many problems from chipped or damaged teeth to headaches and jaw or neck pain. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint issues, may also benefit from a custom-fitted night guard that can keep your jaw in alignment.

Why would I need a sports guard?

If you play any sport, you should be wearing a sports guard or mouth guard. Most sports put you at risk for some kind of accidental injury, and dental injuries are very common. Sports guards help to protect your teeth from being knocked out, chipped, or broken and can even protect your jaws, gums, tongue and cheeks from injury while playing a sport.

Can over-the-counter mouth guards provide the same protection as custom-made guards?

While an over-the-counter mouth guard is usually better than wearing nothing, most of these generic mouth guards cannot fit your teeth correctly to provide the best protection. A custom-fitted mouth guard can fit comfortably and snugly on your teeth so it doesn’t accidentally fall out and in some cases can even improve jaw positioning to provide other benefits as well.

Can a night guard help with teeth grinding?

Yes, a night guard is the ideal solution for teeth grinding. It can provide comfort and protect your teeth from the pressure and wear and tear of tooth grinding. Night guards also help to prevent TMJ issues and reduce headaches while helping you get a better night’s sleep.

Shruti Jadeja DDS

Dr. Shruti Jadeja

Shruti Jadeja, DDS graduated from dental school in India, her home country, where she practiced dentistry for three years before moving to the USA in 2010. She worked with a great researcher at the UCLA School of Dentistry in Oral Biology and studied at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. After living in California and Colorado, she moved to Oregon, where she has been providing compassionate, high-quality dental care for patients from the community.

Dr. Jadeja’s goal is healthy, happy smiles for all patients in and around Salem, Oregon.