Clenching your teeth can cause muscle soreness, make it hard to chew, wear down your teeth enamel and cause other health problems. Thankfully, wearing a moldable mouthguard while playing sports can help relieve teeth clenching and stress on your jaw. Here’s what you need to know about how mouthguards prevent clenching:
Why You Should Prevent Teeth Clenching
Teeth clenching may seem innocuous in the moment, but it can lead to serious health problems over time. Chronic teeth clenching can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, including pain, tenderness, aching, difficult chewing, locking of the joint, clicking sounds and grating sensations.
Teeth clenching may also be related to bruxism, a.k.a. teeth grinding. That being said, many people grind their teeth during the day and/or night without developing serious TMJ disorders. However, teeth grinding can worsen jaw clenching and also wear down your teeth enamel prematurely.
If you suspect that you grind your teeth, or you are already experiencing signs of TMJ disorders, talk to your doctor and/or dentist about what treatment options are available to you.
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How Mouthguards Prevent Teeth Clenching
Mouthguards can help prevent teeth clenching while playing sports — but only if you choose the right type of mouthguard and get the right fit.
Mouthguards can help prevent teeth clenching because they create a barrier between your teeth, which cushions them against clenching and grinding. Mouthguards also help protect your teeth and jaw from potential impacts during sports, helping to spread out the force instead of keeping it concentrated in one area. Since injury to the area can worsen teeth clenching, this also helps to prevent teeth clenching.
However, choosing the wrong mouthguard can also cause teeth clenching instead of preventing it. This is most common when it comes to stock mouthguards, which aren’t fit to your mouth or teeth at all. These generically sized mouthguards have to be held in place by clenching your teeth, which can cause muscle soreness and lead to other problems over time.
Wearing the wrong size mouthguard (especially one that is too big) will also lead to a similar problem, even if it is a boil and bite mouthguard that has been molded to your teeth. In the next section, we’ll talk about how to choose a mouthguard that will prevent teeth clenching instead of accidentally causing it.
Choosing a Mouthguard to Prevent Teeth Clenching
The more closely a mouthguard is fitted and sized to your mouth, the more effective it will be at preventing teeth clenching. This happens for two reasons: 1) the more exact the fit, the more prevention the mouthguard offers; and 2) a close fit means that the mouthguard will stay in place on its own, so that you don’t have to clench your teeth to hold it in place.
The best GuardLab product for helping to prevent teeth clenching is the ARC-PRO custom fit mouthguard. The mouthguard can be fitted in two ways, by getting 3D scans made at your dentist or by using our at-home dental modeling kit. We then use the model of your teeth and mouth to make a mouthguard that fits exactly and won’t slide around.
Our ARC-PRO guards are made with ARC™ Technology, which can open the airways, improve stability of the head, neck and jaw muscles and help to reduce the risk of injury. These benefits may assist with existing TMJ issues or help to reduce the odds of them developing later on.
Because the fit is so exact, we recommend our ARC-PRO guards for fully grown adults whose permanent teeth have all come in. You should also complete any orthodontic treatment before making your scan; otherwise, your teeth will move and the mouthguard won’t fit.
If you’re ready to get the mouthguard that many of the world’s top professional athletes rely on, the ARC-PRO guard is available in both upper and lower teeth guards for 360-degree protection. We even offer the ability to customize its design with a DIY mouthguard option. Order it today to experience one of the most scientifically advanced mouthguards on the market today!