Dental professionals recommend guards as a solution to many problems in addition to their preventive use for athletes. In our practice, the doctors will often suggest an occlusal guard for any of the following:
- Bruxism: The technical term for clenching or grinding the teeth. A mouth guard can alleviate the symptoms of bruxism by offering a slick barrier between the upper and lower teeth, such that they slide against each other instead of applying pressure and grinding down.
- TMD: Disorders of the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. An occlusal guard in this situation alleviates pressure on the joint and helps to reduce strain.
- Application of topical medication: MI Paste, corticosteroids, and other medication for oral conditions can sometimes be conveniently delivered using a mouth guard, which keeps the medicine in place against the teeth and gums longer.
- Risk of dental trauma: If you regularly engage in high-impact activities such as sports, a mouth guard can help prevent injury by acting as a barrier and softening any potential impact to the teeth.
- Aesthetic enhancement and protection: Similar to its use in delivering medication, mouth guards can be used to apply bleaching gel to whiten teeth. An occlusal guard may also be recommended to provide extra protection for certain more delicate tooth restorations (temporary crowns, veneers, etc.).