Do you wake up in the mornings without feeling rested? Is it sometimes accompanied by a headache or a toothache? Do you have joint pain in your jaw? Also, during one of the routine dental exams, did your dentist mention that your teeth are starting to wear more than usual?
If this is the case, you should consider wearing an occlusal protector otherwise known as an "occlusal guard".
The occlusal guards are removable, custom-made devices that fit over the teeth and are used to help prevent direct contact between teeth during sleep due to grinding and clenching. These appliances do not treat the problem, but they are a preventive measure against the more serious symptoms caused by long-term grinding of the teeth.
By wearing an occlusal guard, you will avoid further surface damage to the teeth, reduce gum problems, and release jaw tension. In addition, this appliance will help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Sometimes it can take several weeks before you feel completely comfortable. Subsequently, most users find that they cannot sleep without them.
The purpose of the sports mouth guard is to act as a shock absorber in the mouth to protect the teeth from excessive forces. The mouth guard also protects your head and brain from a concussion if the blow is onto the lower jaw. This is a significant reason in why most contact sports players wear a mouth guard.
A well-designed mouth guard also protects the jaw joints (TMJ) from injury by supporting and cushioning the jaw joints in times of blunt forces to the lower jaw. In harsh blows, this can even reduce the risk of jaw fracture.