Do you have false teeth and need to use a mouthguard? Well, here are some of the things you should know when considering whether or not you can wear a mouthguard with dentures.
But before we answer the question “Can You Wear A Mouthguard With Dentures?“, let’s quickly look at some background information regarding false teeth.
Teeth loss affects millions of people in the US and around the world. Tooth decay, injury, and gum disease are usually the most common causes. Such issues with teeth not only affect the ability to chew properly but also cause discomfort and low self-esteem. If left untreated for a long time, additional severe consequences might happen.
When one or more teeth are missing, the mouth might try to fill the gap by moving the remaining teeth, which creates even more holes. These gaps are difficult to keep clean, raising the chances of bacteria penetration, cavities, gum disease, and even bone loss, so it is highly recommended to seek a dentist as fast as possible to treat the problem.
Dental health has improved over the years, and there are several solutions available as a replacement for missing teeth. Implants, bridges, and dentures are some of the possible solutions. Each one of these options has specific requirements and care procedures, so different cases might require different treatments.
Types of False Teeth
Your dentist should assess your condition before suggesting any treatment. Depending on the number of teeth missing, the location, and condition of your bone jaw might dictate which type of solution is the most appropriate. The most common false teeth options available are complete or partial removable dentures, dental implants, and fixed bridges.
A removable false teeth appliance (or denture) can be either partial or complete. Both are mostly used for cases where all teeth are gone, or just a few of them are still left. A denture can be made of plastic and metal, usually glued with adhesives directly over the exposed gums. It can also offer additional stability if attached to the still remaining teeth or dental implants. You should remove this type of denture every night before going to sleep. Removing the dentures at night will give some rest to the gums and bone, relieving the pressure applied during the day. If you plan to play any dangerous sport, it is also suggested to remove them.
Your dentist might suggest this option if you have good bone support. Bridges are usually made of porcelain, precious or non-precious metal. Since bridges are fixed in place, you can’t remove them. Besides your regular dental hygiene, you will need to take some additional steps for cleaning. A special bridge needle or floss might be required to clean under the bridge, as a regular brush will not reach it properly.
This is a solution for those who are missing just a few teeth. In this case, an artificial root is placed into the bone, where a crown or bridge can be attached later. The dentist will offer this option depending on the condition of your bone jaw since it will be necessary to perforate and place an artificial tooth root inside. But don’t worry, you should not feel pain during this process! As most teeth are attached to the inner placed implants, they should only be removed by a professional. So, you can keep in it during the night or while playing sports.
Types of Mouth Guards
Mouthguards can be used to protect your teeth and gums in different situations. A mouthguard is usually prescribed for those who suffer bruxism, or for those who need to protect their mouth during sports. This equipment evens out the pressure across your jaw and protects your upper and lower teeth from any damage. If you grind at night, a mouthguard also reduces the noises you make.
You can choose between a custom-made mouthguard or a generic one. The gumshield is usually made of rubber or acrylic for comfort. Although generic mouth guards can be found over the counter and for cheaper prices, dentists do not recommend them. Their bulkiness makes it difficult to breathe and talk, and it provides little or no protection.
If you are considering using a mouthguard with dentures, don’t think twice. The best option for you is to request a custom-made mouthguard. The custom-made mouthguard is commonly made with a combination of soft and hard materials, such as acrylic. Depending on your case, the dentist might recommend a soft acrylic, hard acrylic, or double laminated (hard outer and soft inner).
For severe cases of bruxism, the hard and double laminated tend to be the best solutions to prevent grinding and protect the teeth. The dental team will make all the measurements and shape the mouth guard specific to your mouth, covering your teeth or the gaps.
Should You Use a Mouthguard With Dentures?
Yes! If you suffer from bruxism or are an avid sports player, you should definitely use a mouthguard.
If you have removable dentures, you will need a mouth guard for sleeping without dentures. The mouthguard can be placed directly on top of your gums.
If you have fixed false teeth, a custom-made mouthguard can cover all your teeth, including the false ones, and protect them overnight.
How To Use a Mouthguard With Dentures
Although a mouthguard can help to protect your mouth, it can pose a health risk if not taken care of properly. Here are some tips to prevent any contamination.
- Store it in cold tap water when not used and change the water every day to prevent any bacterial growth – According to Web MD news, mouth guards can be the breeding ground for life-threatening bacteria, yeast, and mold. Always clean your mouthguard after use. If you sleep with it, clean it every morning with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Avoid cleaning it with cleaners – especially the ones with alcohol. The alcohol can drastically shorten the lifespan of the equipment. You can use denture-cleaning tablets once a week.
- Keep good oral hygiene – Before placing your mouthguard in your mouth, brush your teeth properly. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. Follow additional steps according to the denture you use and your dentist’s instructions.
- Clean the carrying case – If traveling, don’t forget to clean the mouth guard container before using it. Wash your carrying case with soap and hot water, and dry it well.
- Examine it regularly – When visiting your dentist, also take your mouthguard with you for a regular examination.
- Know when you need a new one – If your mouthguard develops pits and cracks, don’t wait for too long to replace it! Rough patches can break your gum skin, creating the perfect place for bacteria to enter your body.
- Don’t ever trim – Every part of the mouthguard is a valuable part to keep your mouth safe. If you feel any discomfort, seek advice from your dentist. Trimming will not only be a risk for dental damage but also might not work as well as it should.
As you would care for your teeth and dentures, you should also pay attention to the maintenance when using your mouthguard with false teeth. It is a small item that can make a huge difference in any denture wearer’s life. Proper caring will keep your mouthguard in good shape, with a longer lifespan, and it will save you time and money!