Kimberly J Lake, DDS

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Nightguards and Athletic Mouthguards


Also known as an occlusal guard, a nightguard is a removable acrylic or plastic appliance that fits over the upper teeth of a patient and is usually worn at night. A nightguard is used to minimize the effects of grinding as well as relieve symptoms associated with joint problems (TMD). Although some nightguards can be bought at a pharmacy, those that require fabrication by a dental technician provide a custom fit and longer durability. People who wake up with sore muscles or a jaw that is “locked” are good candidates for this device.

Athletic Mouthguards

Also known as a sportsguard, an athletic mouthguard is a removable plastic appliance that fits over the upper teeth and is worn during any sport where dental injury is likely. Individuals who play sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and hockey can benefit from the protection of an athletic mouthguard. Dr. Lake recommends participants in other activities such as skateboarding, bicycling, or four-wheeling where falls are likely to occur to invest in an athletic mouthguard as well. Mouthguards purchased at retail stores provide minimal protection to the teeth and gums, however, a custom fit mouthguard provides both comfort and maximum protection.