Mouthguards and Night Guards

Mouthguards are also known as dental guards, nightguards, nocturnal bite plates, or bite splints. They are used for a variety of reasons. Athletic mouthguards are used for sports to reduce the severity of the injury, while nightguards help with teeth grinding, reduce snoring, and relieve obstructive sleep apnea.

Athletic Mouthguards

Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating – Everything – would be affected!

Athletic mouthguards help cushion blows to your face or mouth, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face, or jaw. They cover the upper teeth and are an important piece of equipment if you participate in organized sports or other physical activities. Athletic mouthguards should be a part of your equipment from an early age. Studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth if they are not wearing a mouthguard.

The best mouthguard is one that has been custom-made for your mouth. A properly fitted mouthguard is especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridgework.


Mouthguards and Night GuardsNightguards are also known as dental guards, mouth guards, nocturnal bite plates, or bite splints. Nightguards are another type of dental appliance that fits over your top or bottom teeth. They are used to combat the effects of Bruxism or teeth grinding. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, affects about 10 to 15 percent of adults, according to the American Dental Association.

There are several ways to alleviate the effects of bruxism. One of the most common is a nightguard. This is typically worn while sleeping through the night. We all get stressed out once in a while but when some people feel anxious and tense, they grind or clench their teeth. This can happen during the day or at night. If you grind your teeth at night you may not even know it until complications develop. So, it’s important to learn the warning signs. Bruxism treatment may require you to wear a custom-made mouthguard when you sleep. The goal is to reduce the wear and tear to your teeth, helping you to keep your healthy smile.


Sleep Apnea and Bruxism

According to the American Sleep Association, "Just before we reach deep sleep, the muscles in our bodies relax. This includes the muscles in the airway, neck, and tongue. When this happens, excess tissue in the neck and airway, along with the tongue, can block airflow when we breathe, causing pauses in breathing. This is known as sleep apnea.

In some cases, the brain tells our jaw to tighten, clench, and grind in order to hold the airway open so we can breathe.

This keeps air flowing, but prevents us from entering deep sleep. The result can be compromised by mental and physical health.

If sleep apnea is ruled out, a nightguard for Bruxism may be what you need to give your jaw some relief. If a night guard isn’t helping or you want to explore different methods, learn about other ways to stop grinding your teeth at night".


Nightguards for Bruxism can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription, but nightguards from your dentist are of higher quality and a superior fit. They are made in a special laboratory from an impression of your mouth. The main function of a nightguard is to prevent the surfaces of your teeth from grinding together, causing you to chip and crack your teeth and strain your jaw muscles.


Whether you want to correct teeth grinding or protect your teeth while playing sports, we have the perfect mouthguard or nightguard for you. Dr. Barbara Webster and our staff provide each patient with the care they need. If you’re looking for the best dentist in Downers Grove, make your appointment today. Call Webster Dental at 630.663.0554.

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