No, you can’t use your sports mouth guard for bruxism. A night guard has a different purpose and design from what you’d wear on the football field.
Wearing the wrong oral appliance can lead to injury. This is why you should always consult with our dentists before using any sort of guard for your teeth. They would be more than happy to help you choose the right oral appliance for your smile.
Here’s why you should never wear your sports mouth guard at night.
Plaque Will Attack Your Gums
Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives on your teeth and gums. If left untreated, plaque can inflame your gums and lead to periodontitis.
Your best natural defense against plaque is saliva.
Saliva helps neutralize cavity-causing acids and wash away food particles. But saliva can’t reach your gums when you’re wearing a sports mouth guard.
A mouth guard covers your teeth and gums, protecting them from blunt force trauma. Unfortunately, it also traps bacteria against the surface of your gums while you sleep.
It’s fine to cover your gums for an hour or two but not 8 hours a night, 7 nights a week. That’s why you can wear your sports mouth guard for a game or practice, but not while you sleep.
A night guard only covers your teeth, especially the biting surfaces. Depending on the design, a night guard may also have holes that allow saliva to wash over the teeth. A night guard is much healthier for you to wear at night than a sports mouth guard.
Ask our dentists about getting a night guard for bruxism. Your gums will thank you!
Teeth Grinding ≠ Blunt Force Trauma
Dental labs make sports mouth guards out of thick material to absorb the shock of impact. This design helps prevent injury if something or someone were to collide with your skull.
If you wore an athletic mouth guard at night, it would prop open your mouth by several millimeters. Over time, your bite would change and your teeth wouldn’t fit together right. This is why night guards have a thinner design compared to athletic mouth guards.
With bruxism, the muscles in your jaw tense as you clench or grind your teeth together. Night guards form a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Wearing a night guard greatly decreases the likelihood of teeth grinding injury.
Call the Grandville Dental Health Center
During your appointment, we’ll take dental impressions and send them to the lab. We’ll call you and schedule your second appointment once your night guard is ready. When you arrive at our office, we’ll check the fit of your night guard to ensure it’s safe and comfortable.
Getting an athletic mouth guard follows this same process. But a sports mouth guard will have a different look and function.
Our family dentists in Grandville, MI, are accepting new patients! To request an appointment with the Grandville Dental Health Center, call (616) 531-0360. We’d be more than happy to set you up as a new patient!