Can I Use My Sports Mouth Guards for Bruxism?

Can I Use My Sports Mouth Guards for Bruxism?

Jun 01, 2022

The short answer to this question is that sports mouth guards should not be used to treat bruxism. If you’re searching for appliance therapy near you to treat bruxism, we invite you to contact Raynham Dental Group, the Office of Dr. Michael Scanlon. Oral appliances, also called appliance therapy, are an excellent and non-invasive way of managing various conditions such as bruxism and minimizing the risk of sports injuries. You can view the two therapies as complementary but not interchangeable.

When you visit our office for bruxism treatment, Dr. Scanlon will thoroughly evaluate you to tailor a treatment plan. If you have sleep apnea related to your bruxism, you may go to sleep specialists for adjunct therapy. Before visiting a sleep specialist, many patients prefer visiting their dentist in Raynham, MA, for bruxism treatment. Dentists often detect signs of bruxism without a patient having to undergo a sleep study. There are signs of bruxism that a dentist will be able to detect during an examination visually. These include worn enamel and flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth. They will also look for raised areas inside a patient’s cheeks, indicating cheek tissue caught between grinding jaws.

Although you may try an over-the-counter (OTC) sports guard as your first line of treatment before visiting our dentist, remember that sports guards in Raynham, MA, are designed to protect the wearer’s teeth from damage during an impact-related event. They do not reduce the pressure and damage that clenching your jaw while you’re asleep can cause. You may even try to use teeth whitening trays as a buffer against bruxism concerns while you sleep, but remember that whitening trays are not for this purpose.

Symptoms of Bruxism

We mentioned a few of the symptoms of bruxism that our dentist will notice during your dental examination. These wear down tooth enamel, cause physical flaws in your teeth, and damage your cheek. Here are other symptoms you may notice that cause many patients to seek treatment for bruxism:

  • Tooth pain and tooth sensitivity
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Headaches at any time of the day
  • Pain that appears to radiate from the jaw to the ear area
  • Pain in your neck, face, or jaw
  • Difficulty opening your mouth to its full extension

These symptoms can indicate that bruxism is a condition to be considered, but you should never take them as an indication that bruxism is the only condition. For example, tooth pain and tooth sensitivity can also indicate an infection and the need for root canal therapy. And sleep disruptions and headaches are often associated with sleep apnea.

Rather than wonder if any of the symptoms mentioned are bruxism or another condition, we invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Scanlon and his team for a comprehensive exam that will include diagnosis and treatment appropriate for your conditions.

Wondering What Causes Bruxism?

Unfortunately, there is not an easy-to-understand textbook definition of the causes of bruxism because medical professionals do not fully understand bruxism. There are, however, many causes and symptoms of other disorders that overlap each other. These include:

  • Stress
  • Age-related disorders
  • Personality type
  • Alcohol use
  • Family genetics
  • Health concerns such as dementia and epilepsy
  • Medications

There are also two types of bruxism – awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. Depending on which type of bruxism you are diagnosed with, our doctor can prescribe time-appropriate therapy. For example, you may benefit from clear aligner therapy if you have awake bruxism, whereas you should treat sleep bruxism with oral appliance therapy used while sleeping.

The Takeaway

The takeaway is that our dentist near you can provide comprehensive dental care to protect against sports injuries with a sports mouthguard and treat bruxism with a specially designed oral appliance. The two therapies are not interchangeable. Do you still have questions? We’re here to help. Please schedule an appointment now to get the relief you deserve.

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