Sports guards are an important piece of athletic equipment for anyone participating in a sport that involves falls, body contact or flying equipment. This includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, gymnastics, mountain biking — any activity that might result in an injury to the mouth. A sports guard is an appliance worn over your teeth that protects them from blows to the mouth, face and head.
Sports guards typically cover the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth. The sport guard also helps protect you from concussions. If you wear braces or have other fixed dental work (such as a bridge or veneers), your dentist may suggest a sports guard to protect these teeth as well.
A night guard, used to treat bruxism, is a custom plastic appliance made specifically to fit your teeth and is usually worn at night when you are sleeping to protect your teeth. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is the clenching or grinding of your teeth. It can occur during the day or night, deliberately or involuntarily.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
The causes of grinding and clenching are unsure, but sleeping habits, daily stress and your bite pattern can play a factor. Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause the following symptoms: headaches; broken restorations; tooth wear and cracks; soreness of the jaw, gums and teeth. They are also prescribed to protect dental work (veneers and crowns) when grinding and clenching can lead to fractured teeth and restorations.