Guarding Your Smile: The Vital Role of Mouthguards in Protecting Your Teeth

A person with a bright smile wearing a mouthguard for protection

As a caring and well-informed dental professional in Decatur, GA, the Metro Decatur Dental Group PC, under the dedicated ownership of Dr. Gary Simms, is committed to safeguarding the smiles and oral health of the local community. One of the essential tools in this mission is the utilization of mouthguards, which play a pivotal role in protecting your teeth in various scenarios.

The Two Categories of Mouthguards: Sports Guards and Night Guards

Mouthguards serve two distinct purposes, and you can obtain them from your dentist with ease. The first category is Sports Guards, designed explicitly to prevent injuries during physical activities. Initially developed in 1919 to safeguard boxers’ teeth and lips during matches, sports guards later became prevalent in various sports like basketball and American football. Today, the American Dental Association (ADA) continues to recommend the use of sports guards in all contact sports, as they effectively shield not only the teeth but also the gums, lips, and cheeks from potential impact injuries. In fact, studies suggest that wearing a sports guard may even help in reducing the risk of concussions resulting from impacts.

While generic sports guards are available in drug stores, the Dentist-made sports guards offered at Metro Decatur Dental Group PC are customized to fit your teeth perfectly, ensuring superior comfort and protection. These personalized sports guards are well worth the investment for athletes seeking optimal performance and safeguarding their dental health.

The second category comprises Night Guards, also known as occlusal guards, as they help maintain proper bite alignment during sleep. Night guards are often recommended for individuals who suffer from teeth grinding or bruxism at night. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to severe issues such as worn teeth, tooth decay, headaches, earaches, and TMJ problems. Recognizing the signs or symptoms of teeth grinding, our dental experts will advise you to get a custom night guard made, which can be worn over either the top or bottom teeth while sleeping, promoting a peaceful and protected slumber.

Additional Protection for Sleep Apnea

Apart from sports and night guards, there’s another critical oral appliance known as Sleep Apnea Appliances. Although resembling bruxism mouthguards, these appliances are designed to address obstructive sleep apnea. Prescribed by our family dentist with specialized training in sleep apnea treatment, these appliances cover both the bottom and upper teeth. By adjusting the position of the bottom jaw relative to the upper jaw, they prevent the tongue and related structures from obstructing the breathing passage while sleeping, providing much-needed relief for individuals affected by sleep apnea.


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