Oral Appliances: Mouthguards, Nightguards, Splints, Bite guards
What is a bite guard, mouthguard or night guard?
Oral appliances, such as bite guards and night guards, are custom-made protective devices for the mouth that are worn to protect teeth from wear (being ground down) due to teeth grinding (bruxism) or teeth clenching. Additionally, they can provide protection to jaw muscles and treat associated jaw soreness. Bite guards and night guards can also be used to manage certain headaches, and other symptoms that are typically associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Are bite guards and night guards comfortable?
To answer simply – yes! Today’s mouth and night guards are custom-made and carefully constructed using special lightweight materials designed to be very comfortable while offering advanced protection for your teeth and jaw. Every mouth and night guard that Dr. Bakhtiari makes is tailor-made in order to fit securely, be therapeutic and provide maximum comfort.
Who should wear a bite guard or night guard?
The following people would benefit from wearing a custom-fabricated bite-guard or nightguard
· Patients who grind their teeth excessively
· Patients with chronic jaw pain, jaw soreness, or jaw stiffness
· Patients suffering from TMJ pain (joint pain) related to arthritis of the jaw
· Patients who suffer from TMJ related earaches, or TMJ related headaches
Bite guards and night guards are designed specifically to help protect tooth surfaces from the repeated friction of tooth grinding. These guards can also protect teeth from the intense pressure that is exerted upon them when teeth are clenched together. This helps prevent teeth and tooth fillings from breaking or cracking, and also aids in the prevention of teeth loosening from the gums and bones.
Why should I get a professionally-made night guard as opposed to one from the store?
Night guards that are purchased at pharmacies, online or at sporting goods stores are almost always one-size-fits all. They are not created to precisely accommodate the specific anatomy of a patient’s unique teeth shape, bite and jaw position. This can potentially be harmful and far less comfortable than one that is custom made. More importantly, use of any oral appliances requires careful monitoring by a trained clinician to prevent and minimize the risk for permanent shifts in the teeth, bite, or jaw position.
Will insurance cover the cost of a mouth guard or night guard?
Many insurance plans will cover a portion of the cost of a dental appliance that is medically-necessary or needed to protect teeth from bruxism. In order to determine if your specific plan offers coverage, we recommend directly inquiring with your insurance plan administrator.