A guide to mouthguards in Mesa, AZ: Protect your health, the investment you’ve made in your smile

As its name suggests, mouthguards refer to oral appliances that “guard” or protect your mouth from injury and damage. However, the mouthguards designed and fitted by Dr. Jeffrey Schmelter at My Time Dental Centers in Mesa, AZ, also represent an entire category of oral appliances. The design of these appliances varies considerably depending on the reason for their use and how they are designed to protect your mouth and the tissues and structures connected to it. 

Types of appliances 

Our practice is pleased to offer so many different custom-fitted, comfortable, and durable appliances as an important “therapy” with a high compliance rate. For instance, devices may be designed to fit the contours of your teeth and gums. Once you slip them in, they protect your natural teeth and dental restorations such as crowns from sustaining damage caused by teeth-grinding. Chronic teeth-grinding or bruxism is often characterized by chips, fractures, or premature wear and tear to restorations. If we detect these signs, Dr. Schmelter may recommend a mouthguard for bruxism (also known as a “night guard”). These appliances are called “night guards,” because many of our patients tend to “brux” during sleep. The pressure from this chronic behavior can be intense. We encourage you to protect the investment you’ve made in your smile with night guards. 

Yet another type of “mouthguard” may be designed to ease the pressure placed on the jaw joints and ultimately lead to TMJ symptoms. These symptoms include chronic migraines, radiating facial and neck and back pain, jaw stiffness, and “noisy” jaw (tends to “pop” when you open and close your mouth). These “oral splints” reposition the jaws in a way that alleviates the stress placed on the temporomandibular joints and the complex system of structures and tissues that are connected to this “hinge” on either side of your face. 

Still, other appliances promote healthy breathing during sleep. They reposition the jaws and other tissues that can get in the way of air passing through the airway while patients are relaxed and at rest. When the airway is obstructed in this manner, the condition is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Many OSA patients also snore, although snoring in and of itself is not cause for alarm. Though, the same type of appliance may be used to manage both snoring and OSA. Oral appliances like snore guards are also an easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain alternative to loud, bulky CPAP therapy.

Finally, a mouthguard or mouthpiece for sports may be recommended for adults and youth alike who engage in certain activities, especially those where the athlete has a higher risk of sustaining a blow to the face. Unlike “universal-fit” or off-the-shelf and “boil and bite” mouthguards, our sports appliances are made from models of your mouth. So, they are designed to fit precisely and comfortably. Precision fit allows for optimal protection and comfort. Additionally, due to the precise nature of these guards, they do not inhibit your sports endurance and performance. We use quality materials, too. Our mouthguards are built to last, making them an excellent investment in your or your child’s health and smile. 

A versatile therapy meets an easy process

We encourage you to get to know this exciting and multi-talented category of dental treatment. Call us at (623) 777-6456 to schedule an appointment with the My Time Dental Centers team in Mesa, AZ.