Sports guards are coverings worn over teeth and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports. There are three types of sports guards:
- Stock mouth protectors are pre-formed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting goods and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky and make breathing and talking difficult and they provide little or no protection. These are the least recommended.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The "boil and bite" mouthguard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office. First, Dr. Gallucci or Dr. Man will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then moulded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouthguard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and best fit and protection.
Generally, mouth guards cover your upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), your dentist will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Dr. Gallucci and Dr. Man can suggest the best mouthguard for you. An effective mouthguard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.
Who Needs a Sports Guard?
Sports guards should be used by anyone - both children and adults - who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, martial arts and field hockey. However, even those participating in non-contact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective sports guard.
Night Guards / TMJ Splints
This appliance is called a night guard or a bite splint and it is used for people who grind their teeth. It separates the teeth to help relax the muscles and prevent clenching. It also allows teeth to slide on the appliance and does not damage the teeth as fast. Without this, the teeth will wear thinner faster, resulting in only small, short teeth. This condition is difficult to restore and becomes very costly, as all the teeth must be worked on for proper alignment.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms associated with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders will vary from person to person, depending on the unique causes of their discomfort. TMJ symptoms can include the following:
TMJ and Jaw Joint Pain
For those suffering from TMJ disorders, jaw joint pain is one of the most common complaints. Many patients notice a clicking, popping, or grinding sound when they chew or yawn and describe the pain they are experiencing as either dull and constant or sharp and sporadic.
TMJ and Ear Pain
Many sufferers do not know that their TMJ is the source of the ear pain they are experiencing, and assume instead that it must be caused by an ear infection or another inner ear problem. Because the TMJs are located right next to the ears, radiating pain from the affected joint, nerves, or other surrounding structures may seem like it is originating from the ears.
Headaches and TMJ
Moderate to severe headaches can be caused by TMJ disorders. Improper articulation of the jaw joint can strain muscles and ligaments that attach to the skull, and even pinch nerves, causing painful headaches. Those with headache pain may also be experiencing TMJ related symptoms.
TMJ and Tooth Pain
TMJ is most often linked to tooth pain in those patients who routinely clench or grind their teeth. The extreme pressure absorbed by the teeth and jaw joints while clenching or grinding can cause serious pain in the cheeks and damage in both areas.
Snoring occurs when loose or fatty muscle tissue in the back of the throat relaxes during sleep. As these tissues collapse into the throat, air is forced through the shrunken air-ways producing vibration in the back of the throat that causes snoring. Snoring is now a condition that is taken seriously. There are several physical disorders associated with and results from snoring. They range from headaches to chronic daytime fatigue to mouth and throat problems to heart and respiratory disorders.
The Pro-form ASD is remarkable comfortable mouth guard-styled device that has prevented or reduced snoring in over 70% of the patients who use it.
Pro-form ASD is custom-fitted made from impression of the patients' mouth. Dr. Gallucci then makes casts of the upper and lower jaws and a unique thermo laminate is vacuum-formed onto the upper cast. Next a repositioning ramp is added that gently positions the lower jaw forward. This opens the lower jaw and moves it forward, thus increasing the opening at the back of the throat for more airway passage space. The increased opening allows more oxygen into the lungs, which lessens the vibrating tissue at the back of the throat.
For a quiet nights sleep ask for the Pro-form Anti-Snoring Device. So you and your family can all get a full night sleep.
Therapeutic BOTOX® Treatment for Jaw Tension,TMJ and Headaches
When injected into facial muscles afflicted with soreness and
discomfort, BOTOX® relieves TMJ and jaw tension for many patients. The
injections often eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding, and, in
cases of severe stress, BOTOX® can even minimize lockjaw.
What's Involved in Botox TMJ Treatment?
Botox is injected into the temporalis and masseter muscles that together can cause jaw pain and headaches. Botox works by blocking nerve signals that cause uncontrollable muscle movements, essentially relaxing the muscles.
Botox injections take only 10 to 15 minutes and remain effective for three to five months. Therefore Botox TMD treatments must be repeated every few months depending on the patient. Most patients who receive Botox treatment regularly after a year to two, have noticed a decrease in the frequency of need for retreatment due to the fact that their muscles have atrophied over time. Therefore, the need for Botox treatment can decrease from 3-4 times a year to maintenance treatment of 1-2 times a year. If you have TMD and Dr. Gallucci or Dr. Man determines that you are a good candidate for this treatment, how often you'll need to receive Botox injections to relieve symptoms will depend on the severity of your condition.
Risks and Benefits of Botox Treatment for Jaw Tension
The benefits of Botox treatment for TMD are many. For people suffering from soreness and pain resulting from problems with the temporo-mandibular joint, Botox injections often provide substantial relief. While reducing the ability of facial muscles to engage in problematic grinding, Botox allows them to perform daily activities such as talking, chewing, and swallowing. This makes the Botox alternative treatment for jaw tension a convenient, effective option for many people. In addition, the treatment can help safeguard dental health, since excessive grinding can result in worn-down teeth and damaged gums that may require costly treatment.
Although complications are rare, patients have experienced bruising and bleeding at injection sites, or excessive paralysis of the muscles in the areas treated.