Oral Appliance Therapy using sports mouthguards to nightguards for teeth grinding

Oral appliance therapy represents an entire and important category of dental treatments. These devices are customized to fit the unique contours of your mouth and to address an underlying condition that may cause pain or present a threat to your oral health and wellbeing. 

Hyde Park Dentistry in London, Ontario, uses advanced diagnostics and knowledge to accurately pinpoint conditions and design appliances that precisely fit your mouth and provide the effective therapy you need. A few of the appliances that we provide include: 

  • Dental mouthguards to protect the teeth from injuries caused while playing sports 
  • Nightguards to prevent damage to the teeth and dental restorations caused by bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding 
  • Snoreguards that reposition the jaws and tissues, which improves snoring and sleep apnea 

Still, other types of appliances are worn to relieve chronic headaches or migraines and other Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders and symptoms. These appliances prevent the back teeth in your mouth from touching when you bite down. Since symptoms such as headaches, facial pain, and jaw stiffness are caused by stress to the TM joints, these appliances relieve the pressure that is placed on the jaw. In effect, they hold the mouth slightly open. So, the back teeth can’t make contact with the lower jaw. The full brunt of biting down is, in turn, not sustained by the jaw. 

The process

As with all treatments at our office, Dr. Marjan Moaveni will evaluate your mouth first. He may see telltale signs of bruxism during a routine recall appointment at our office. These signs include excessive wear on dental restorations, as well as chips and fractures. Still, other patients may visit our practice with specific concerns in mind; for instance, they may be experiencing chronic headaches or have a limited range of motion in the jaw that interferes with their ability to chew food comfortably. These are signs of TMJ dysfunction or syndrome. TMJ and bruxism are also thought to be linked. Any time stress is placed on these jaw joints, it can result in pain and other distressing symptoms. The joints may be stressed by the pressure placed on them during episodes of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. 

Additionally, patients may complain about frequent sore throats or dry mouth. These and a multitude of other symptoms are associated with sleep apnea. Dr. Moaveni may be enlisted by patients’ family physicians or sleep medicine specialists as part of the “team” to resolve sleep apnea. This condition involves disordered breathing when patients are at rest. The tissues at the back of the throat become lax and can block the airway. Breathing may cease many times during the night. As you can imagine, this is a very serious condition. While CPAP therapy is a proven way to treat the condition, many patients don’t adjust well to the cumbersome nasal mask or the noisy machine connected to it. For some patients, oral appliance therapy represents a non-invasive and discreet alternative to CPAP that actually gets used. 

Similar appliances may also be designed to address snoring. Habitual snoring can be “primary” in nature or “secondary,” associated with conditions such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Regardless of the type of snoring, it can interfere with partners’ and families’ abilities to get quality rest. Relationships suffer. 

Finally, appliances such as sports mouthguards may be recommended as a preventive measure. These devices precisely and effectively protect against trauma to the teeth, oral tissues, and jaws when engaging in physical activities, such as contact sports like hockey, basketball, rugby, baseball, and football. They are also thought to help soften the impact of blows, reducing concussion risks. 

Depending on your needs, impressions or models of your mouth will be made and used to guide the fabrication of your unique oral device. When worn, cleaned, maintained, and stored as directed by your dentist, these appliances: 

  • Protect oral health Promote healthy oral posture
  • Prevent serious health consequences by repositioning tissues
  • Restore or maintain a great quality of life 

Custom oral appliances are not for any one condition and are not limited to one type of device. Schedule your appointment to see what preventive or restorative therapies may be in your future. Take back or maintain your sense of wellbeing and health! Call Hyde Park Dentistry today at 226-271-2522.