Avinash Sachdev

Are Gumshields Bad For Your Teeth?

Are Gumshields Bad For Your Teeth

Within this blog we will be covering all the key points to know about whether gumshields are bad for your teeth. This includes some potential issues that can arise with gumshields, and how to avoid issues.

Issues with Gumshields

Gum shields are typically used by two sets of individuals, either those who have teeth grinding issues to avoid enamel damage or those who partake in contact sports to protect teeth from impact. While they obviously can be very useful, they do have their drawbacks, especially if they are not used correctly. This will involve washing and cleaning it regularly and ensuring that no bacteria is allowed to thrive within the gumshield or it’s surrounding area. Subsequently, it is also essential to take care of your teeth itself and avoid any problems occurring.

As long as you are using your gumshield as it is intended then it should serve its purpose with limited adverse effects. Although if you consistently utilise an unclean, broken or poorly fitted gumshield then it may lead to issues. This is most common with those who buy stock gumshields rather than custom made options from the dentist, as they are likely to be ill-fitting and thus can break quicker. Another issue is that gumshield that are not custom made may not fit the bite well and so can cause fiddling and posturing of the muscle. This additional muscle activity occurs when your mouth should be resting with the gum shield in place meaning that you jaw muscles may end up clenching more than if it was not present giving additional unwanted side effects of jaw muscle pain. Additionally, it may be difficult to breathe properly while using a poorly fitting gumshield, and gum irritation is also possible. This can put you at risk of infection and can lead to gum recession in the long run.

While a custom-made dental gumshield will obviously be a bigger investment initially, they will usually avoid the aforementioned issues occurring. They are made specifically you’re your oral situation and will thus be much more comfortable and gentler on your gums. You will also be better able to breathe and take while using them, and if you do have any problems then they can be modified/refitted at regular intervals to ensure you are fully comfortable at all times.

Preventing Issues

While simply upgrading to custom-made dental gumshield will avoid the majority of aforementioned issues, you will still need to take preventative measures in the long run to conclusively avoid problems. This includes regular cleaning of the mouthguard in between use with mouthwash, and occasionally washing it thoroughly with soap. The gumshield itself will not need to vigorously cleaned as this may cause damage, but general cleanliness is still important.

Another key tip will be to have regular dental visits to ensure that the gumshields are fulfilling their correct role and not causing any other issues. This will include checking the gumshield is correctly fitted and ideally covers all the biting surfaces of the teeth, and your oral situation hasn’t changed. Any changes can mean the gumshield may be causing damage to the gums and will thus need to be modified to avoid further damage. Hygienist visits can also help keep your gums in great condition and avoid any further issues down the line with regards to your gums. As major issues can require expensive and lengthy dental treatment, which you would ideally want to avoid.

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