in Boulder, Colorado
Problem Protecting your teeth
Solution Mouth guards
Whether it's your natural smile or a cosmetically enhanced smile, protecting the beauty and health of your teeth from trauma is important. Mouth guards, made by general dentistry offices like Dr. Birnbach's in Boulder, Colorado, can be used to protect your teeth and mouth during athletic activity or from habits such as teeth grinding or clenching. They can also be used to treat a variety of medical problems such as TMD
, snoring, or sleep apnea
A regular mouth guard is made of material that is heated up and then the teeth are squeezed into it. This material is not very durable or comfortable. This is why you see many athletes chewing on the guard and taking it out all the time. Another type of mouth guard is the pressure-heat laminated type. This type fits on the teeth better, but the material shifts the bite so that the muscles have to work harder. We have found that athletes with these ill fitting guards may even perform worse with this type of guard.
Dr. Birnbach may recommend mouth guards and similar devices to treat a number of dental issues:
- Athletic Mouth Protection - All physical sports can be dangerous, especially those involving moving equipment and heavy contact with others. Using a dental impression, Dr. Birnbach can make a custom-fitted mouth guard which will protect your teeth from damage if you sustain trauma to the mouth or head during activity.
- Jaw Pain & TMJ/TMD - If you suffer from temporomandibular disorders or other jaw pain, Dr. Birnbach may recommend a splint, which is worn all the time, or a night guard, worn only at night. These mouth guards keep your bite in the least traumatic and painful position.
- Teeth Grinding & Jaw Clenching - Grinding and clenching teeth, or bruxism, can cause headaches, tooth trauma, and jaw problems. Dr. Birnbach may recommend either a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint. These custom-made mouth guards keep your teeth from coming together, lessening the damage caused by frequent grinding and clenching.
- Snoring - Dr. Birnbach may recommend a device similar to a mouth guard to treat your snoring. A splint can be custom-made to fit around the tongue to ensure the free passage of air while you sleep. A mandibular advancement device holds your lower jaw slightly forward, a position which enhances the free flow of air.
- Sleep Apnea - Devices similar to those used to treat snoring, such as splints and mandibular advancement devices, can also be used to treat your obstructive sleep apnea.
There are a few different types of mouth guards that you may be fitted for:
- Stock - Stock mouth guards are the most common type of mouth guard but they offer the least amount of protection or correction. For the most part, stock mouth guards are used for facial protection in sports and other activities.
- Mouth-Formed - These mouth guards can be formed to perfectly match the contours of your teeth and gums. To do this, the mouth guards are placed in boiling water, allowed to cool, and then placed in the mouth and bitten down on. Like stock mouth guards, these mouth guards do not address specialized problems.
- Custom - Custom mouth guards are made specifically for your teeth by Dr. Birnbach. They last the longest and offer the most protection.
Each type differs in price and functionality. Dr. Birnbach can help you determine which is right for your situation. Contact
our office today for more information.