Gum-shields/mouth guards are used to prevent injury or trauma mainly in high contact sports. They can also be used as a treatment of tooth grinding (bruxism) or temporomandibular (jaw) joint disorders.
Tooth grinding has usually been associated with high levels of stress; it usually is a subconscious behaviour involving clenching the jaw which leads to high amounts of pressure being placed on both sets of teeth. This can cause a lot of damage to the teeth by disfiguring the shape and also straining the jaw bone and joints. There is no known direct cause and effect or cure for this behaviour as of date however gum shields can help reduce the effects of bruxism and joint disorders.
The gum shields will be custom fitted by producing impressions of your teeth first to provide a perfectly comfortable and secure fit around the gums and entire mouth just for you.
How will gum shields prevent tooth grinding?
The shields fit smoothly into your mouth and the thick rubber like material provides flexible movement for your jaw causing it to bounce back when clenched and prevents teeth from grinding together due to the thickness creating a firm gap between them.
What are the benefits of using mouth guards in sports?
The mouth guard creates a protective barrier around your teeth using the thick rubber like material to shield them from rough and high pressured contact in highly active sports for example: boxing, hockey and rugby. This prevents damage or breakage of your teeth.
How often do gum shields have to be replaced?
This differs for different age groups. For fully grown adults the gum shields do not have to be replaced for long periods of time, however if young adolescents are using shields they will have to replaced more often as the jaw structure and teeth are still developing so the shields will be moulded according to the shape of your mouth. They may have to be replaced more often for usage in high contact sports as the durability will decrease due to high physical activity and pressure placed on the mouth.