If you suffer from rhythmic jaw movements while you sleep, don’t think you’re alone. About 60% of the population suffers from this unnatural movement while they sleep, some resulting in tooth damage and sleep bruxism. While a mouthguard sounds like the right solution to this common problem, it is important that you understand that there are sports mouthguards and bruxism mouth guards. It is also important to understand the difference between the athletic mouth guards and night guards, and we will discuss them in the following article.
To begin to find differences between these two, an athletic mouthguard will likely be worn for only an hour or two here and there during games, contact sport practices, and workouts. Night guards are intended to be worn throughout an entire sleep cycle, approximately 8 hours in a row for 7 days a week. Because of the way night guards are designed, they hinder the growth of bacteria while you sleep, making it an obvious reason as to why you only wear one for a few hours, while the other stays in your mouth for an extended period of time.
Athletic mouth guards are designed to protect the crown of the tooth above the gums as well as the root of the tooth below the gumline. A sports mouthpiece will cover teeth and gums, whereas a night guard only needs to cover the teeth and their biting surfaces. If wearing any kind of moderate or full coverage dental appliance, the natural cleansing system found in our mouth by means of saliva is hindered greatly. Night guards with perforations are best as saliva can flow more naturally and sips of water may even be switched to help cleanse the teeth and keep your mouth safe from bacteria.
Again going back to the design of each mouthguard, and athletic mouth guard is most often. if exposing your teeth to such sick mouthguards that alter invite for so many hours such as during sleep, could lead to significant jaw pain headaches and long-term bite issues. Hence why these kinds of thick mouth guards are only worn for a short period of time.
If you have more questions about dental mouth guards, or are in need of one for sports events or at night while you sleep, feel free to give our office in Markham, ON, a call. Everyone at 14th Avenue Dentistry cannot wait to meet you and your family.