Well, it’s not this guy! Since I got my mouth washed out with soap once, I guess you could classify my mom as a “Mouth Guard”. Too bad my mouth found a way to continue dropping obscenities here and there, so “Mom Mouth Guard” was only temporary.
Athletes use mouth guards as a protective device. You see them used often in sports such as football, soccer, boxing and various other contact sports.
Another common reason for a mouth guard is a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism means you are grinding your teeth. This is a more prevalent problem and condition than you might think. A lot of people grind their teeth in their sleep so they are unaware they are even doing it. Most times their spouse or partner is the one who brings it to their attention.
At our dental office, Dr. Paul Caputo’s office, we have come across many patients who have “tell tale” signs and symptoms of grinding their teeth.
Most common is the wear patterns on their teeth. Many teeth will show smooth flattened surfaces; especially on the molars or bicuspids. Instead of the normal anatomy, which has “cusps”, raised corners, valleys and grooves, the tooth has been worn to a flattened plane caused by years of grinding your teeth against each other.
Also a person who grinds their teeth will most likely have chipped or broken teeth in addition to the wear patterns. A grinder also has a higher risk and likelihood of breaking new crowns or fillings.
While they may leave the office with the newest restoration in perfect condition; there have been incidents where a grinder can fracture porcelain off a crown in a matter of days. Having a night guard (mouth guard) can certainly help keep that situation from happening.
I am a grinder and wear a night guard (mouth guard) every night. I have done damage to my teeth over the years because I didn’t know I was a grinder. Since having the night guard made, I haven’t gone a night without it. This helps assure that I keep further damage from occurring.
In closing, if you do have a custom mouth guard made, make sure you store it according to directions or at least out of reach of your dog.
I once left mine on the coffee table. (I had fallen asleep on the couch with it). When I came home from work it was in three pieces and my dog (Archer) had a very suspicious look on his face. Dang Dog!!!!
I had to have impressions taken and a new mouth guard made. We sent the case to C & C Dental Laboratories. C & C does a lot of prosthetic cases for our Palm Harbor Dental office.
Manny (the owner and best lab technician in the world) sent back two nice new mouth guards with a note: “One for you, one for your dog”. All I’m gonna say is: I am selfish and kept them both. No way is the dog getting one, well…….at least not on purpose. J
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A