Often, patients think custom mouthguards are only to be used when they want to participate in contact sports. However, custom mouthguards are actually one of the most versatile modern dentistry advancements. Many of our treatment options include the use of a custom mouthguard to address complex dental concerns. Here are three dental concerns that can often be treated through the use of a custom mouthguard:
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a dental concern that often will lead to significant dental damages if left untreated. While this habit may seem harmless at first, it actually puts a lot of unintended pressure on your dental structures. Patients who grind their teeth are more prone to worn-down teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and facial pain. One of the most difficult aspects of bruxism is that many patients are unaware that they are suffering from this dental concern. This is because patients will often grind their teeth without noticing that they are doing so. Dr. Petkevis frequently uses a custom mouthguard, or bite guard, to help patients stop teeth grinding. The mouthguard is made to fit over your teeth and prevent teeth grinding. Most patients will choose to wear the mouthguard at night, while others will wear them during high-stress situations such as while driving or working.
TMJ disorders occur when the temporomandibular joint of your jawbone becomes inflamed or injured. Treatment options vary for patients with TMJ disorders depending on the root cause of your pain. Patients may develop a TMJ disorder if their bite is misaligned or if they are missing one or more teeth. These issues require restorative care to address the source of the disorder. However, other patients may develop TMJ disorders because they often grind their teeth or clench their jaw when under high amounts of stress. For these patients, often Dr. Petkevis will recommend oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a custom mouthguard to be worn during times of high stress, or when symptoms of your TMJ disorder flare-up. Wearing the custom mouthguard will help relieve any pressure on your jawbone and prevent tension from being held in or around the joint.
Loud snoring is one of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Caused by an excess of soft tissue collapsing on each other while you breathe, sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous medical condition in which the snorer actually stops breathing for several seconds, and sometimes up to two minutes. Many people don’t realize that an experienced dentist can treat snoring and sleep apnea issues. At Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA, Dr. Jason Petkevis offers sleep apnea therapy for his Philadelphia area dental patients. Often, he will recommend oral appliance therapy which involves a custom mouthguard. The custom mouthguard is designed to be worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of your tongue and soft tissues in the back of your throat. This allows your airway to remain open during sleep, preventing snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms.
If you are interested in learning more about how a custom mouthguard could help you and your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Petkevis, your local Chester Springs, PA dentist, today!