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How Mouth Guards Protect Your Teeth

Posted on 3/20/2017 by Sergio Ortegon
A dentist holding a mouthguard.
You're probably familiar with sports mouth guards. These devices are used to cushion your teeth in the event of a fall or other injury to the head. However, if you grind your teeth at night, your teeth are also in danger, and thus require protection.

Your dentist may recommend a night guard, which is a device made from a mold of your top teeth, and is meant to be worn while you sleep, keeping your teeth safe from harm.


Bruxism is the clenching and/or grinding of your teeth. It often occurs at night, when you have no control over it. The muscles in your jaw contract, forcing unnecessary stress and pressure on your teeth, and can lead to a variety of issues:

•  Cracks and fractures of teeth.
•  Uneven and excessive wear.
•  Tooth sensitivity.
•  Gum recession.
•  Tooth decay.
•  Loosened teeth.
•  TMJ

There are a number of factors that can cause bruxism, and often treating the cause can help. However, this is not always the case, and a mouth guard can help.

Cushions Teeth

A mouth guard cannot stop bruxism, but it can prevent the effects. The device provides a cushion for your teeth. When you clench and grind, your enamel wears away, exposing the dentin below, leading to sensitivity as well as allowing bacteria in. The cushion of the mouth guard prevents the force and rubbing, keeping your enamel safe and intact.

Realigns Jaw

Some grinding is the result of poor tooth alignment. Your teeth may naturally be misaligned, or it may be because of the position your jaw takes while you sleep. Either way, this misalignment causes unnatural grinding, causing uneven tooth wear. Some night guards are made to keep the lower jaw in the proper position, keeping your teeth properly aligned and preventing the grinding of your teeth.

If your teeth are suffering the consequences of bruxism, it's time to contact our office. A mouth guard may be just what you need to protect your teeth from suffering further damage.

Meet the Dentist

•  Board Certified Prosthodontist
•  Maxillofacial Prosthodontist
•  Assistant Clinical Professor
•  17 Years of Clinical Experience

> Read more about Dr. Ortegon


dedicated to aesthetic, reconstructive, and dental implant dentistry. It is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Different from a Periodontist, of ~150,000 dentists nationwide, only 2%, are Prosthodontists. > Read more

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Ortegon Prosthodontics, 4747 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX, 77401 - Related Phrases: Dental Implants Bellaire TX : Prosthodontist Houston : Dental Implants Bellaire TX : (832) 968-9108 : : 11/18/2018