Can You Wear A Mouthguard With Dentures?

Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by Jade Roberts

can you wear a mouthguard with dentures or false teeth

Do you have false teeth and need to use a mouthguard? Well, here are some of the things you need to know if you’re 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, it can also lead to other issues.

When one or more teeth are missing, the mouth can try to fill the gap by moving the remaining teeth. This can create even more gaps, which are difficult to keep clean This raises the chances of bacteria penetration, cavities, gum disease, and even bone loss. So it’s highly recommended to see a dentist as fast as possible to treat the problem.

Dental health has improved a lot over the years, and there are several solutions available for missing teeth problems. 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.

Removable Dentures

A removable 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.

Fixed Bridges

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.

Dental Implants

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 it in 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 from 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 mouthguards 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 they provide little or no protection.

If you’re thinking of using a mouthguard with dentures, the best option is to request a custom-made one. Custom-made mouthguards are often 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, mouthguards 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 mouthguard 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.

Mouthguard With Dentures FAQs

Can you wear a mouthguard with dentures?

Because traditional mouthguards are designed to fit snuggly over teeth and cushion them during intense physical activity, wearing them over dentures is not a good idea. However, some mouthguards have been designed specifically to fit over your dentures. They are constructed from a soft material that you can mold and shape to cover your dentures. This type of mouthguard will not only protect your dentures, but it will keep any remaining natural teeth and your gums safe.

How do you properly fit a DIY mouthguard over your dentures?

For the best fit and protection of your teeth and dentures, you should get your mouthguard professionally made. However, some DIY solutions may be suitable. Fitting one of these mouthguards over your dentures should include the following steps:

Purchase the Right Type of Mouthguard: You’ll find many different types of mouthguards available. Most are not suitable for wearing over your dentures. However, some mouthguards are identified as “denture-friendly” or “suitable for denture wearers.”
Boil Some Water: Using either the kettle, stove-top, or microwave oven, boil some water.
Place the Mouthguard in the Hot Water: Take the boiling water off the heat and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Pour some of the water into a container and place the mouthguard in the hot water. Leave it for no more than 15 seconds. The purpose of using hot water is to soften the mouthguard material.
Place the Mouthguard in Your Mouth: After the mouthguard has cooled enough to be placed inside your mouth without burning you, carefully insert it. Press the mouthguard against your dentures and gums and bite down gently. This aids in creating a snug fit of the mouthguard over your dentures.
Adjust the Fit: You may have to make adjustments if the mouthguard does not feel right or is too loose. You can make these changes by trimming excess material with scissors or by pressing the mouthguard against your dentures with your fingers.
Cool the Mouthguard: Once you get the mouthguard to fit as you desire, remove it and let it sit in some cool water. This will set the shape you molded the mouthguard into.
Test the Fit: After the mouthguard has cooled, put it back into your mouth to see how it fits.
It is important to protect dentures when engaged in intense physical activity to prevent damage. The steps above should help you to properly fit your dentures with a DIY mouthguard.

Can wearing a mouthguard with dentures cause any damage to the dentures?

Some damage can result from wearing a mouthguard with dentures. This usually happens if the fit is not right. A mouthguard that does not fit correctly can exert pressure on the dentures. This pressure can cause dentures to become loose and dislodge. Additionally, wearing a mouthguard that is not designed as “denture-friendly” or “suitable for denture wearers” may not offer the right kind of protection or may be difficult to wear correctly.

What types of mouthguards are recommended for people with dentures?

There are different types of “denture-friendly” mouthguards. They include:

Custom-Made Mouthguards: Your dentist or orthodontist can make you a mouthguard that fits specifically over your dentures. This type of custom-made mouthguard will be fashioned to provide a comfortable fit and protection for your dentures and mouth.
Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: This is the type of mouthguard that you can fit at home. Although boil-and-bite mouthguards are not as good as custom-made ones, they still work. However, for denture wearers who have complex or severe dental conditions, a boil-and-bite mouthguard may not be suitable.
Double-Layer Mouthguards: As the name implies, there are two different layers to this type of mouthguard. The inner layer is softer and provides a cushion for your dentures. The outer layer is harder and provides impact protection.
Strapless Mouthguards: The natural suction in the mouth holds this mouthguard in position. Although this type of mouthguard is comfortable to wear, there are no attachments or straps, so it doesn’t provide as much protection as other mouthguards.

It’s best to first consult with your dental professional for advice before you start to shop for a mouthguard to wear with your dentures.

How often should you change your mouthguard when wearing dentures?

Determining the frequency of changing your mouthguard while using dentures is not straightforward. Various factors such as the frequency of usage, the mouthguard’s kind, and the extent of its exposure to wear and tear play a role. Here are some points to consider:

Custom-Made Mouthguards: These mouthguards, being the most robust among the options, tend to have a longer lifespan. With proper maintenance, a custom-fitted mouthguard can serve you for several years. However, it is advisable to get it inspected by your dentist on a yearly basis for certainty.
Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: Compared to custom-fitted ones, this variety tends to wear out faster. It might require replacement every 6 to 12 months. If there are visible signs of damage or deterioration, the need for replacement can be more frequent.
Double-Layer Mouthguards: Even though this variety outlasts the heat-and-mold type, it eventually needs replacement. The appearance of any signs of wear and tear is an indication that you need a new one. With normal use and adequate care, a dual-layer mouthguard could last up to 2 years.
Strapless Mouthguards: The fact that this type of mouthguard offers less protection than the rest means it will also need replacement more frequently. You may need to replace a strapless mouthguard every three to 6 months. Maybe sooner depending on wear and tear.

Inspect your mouthguard’s condition regularly. When you store it, make sure that it’s clean and dry to prevent damage and bacteria growth.

Can wearing a mouthguard with dentures affect speech or breathing?

Wearing a mouthguard with dentures can impact speech and breathing for some individuals. There are a few issues to be aware of when wearing a mouthguard with dentures. They include:

Speech: If the mouthguard you are wearing does not fit properly, it can impact your speech. You may find you are slurring words, have a lisp, or cannot make certain sounds.
Breathing: Breathing may be difficult if the mouthguard blocks the airway or is just too bulky. This may result in nose breathing instead of breathing through the mouth.
A properly fitting mouthguard can prevent these issues from developing. The best option is a custom-made mouthguard as these offer the best protection and are made to fit just your mouth and your dentures. This makes the custom-made mouthguard comfortable and secure. Another way to prevent breathing and speech issues from forming is to practice speaking and breathing while wearing a mouthguard to understand what adjustments you may need to make to speak and breathe normally.

Can you still talk or drink water while wearing a mouthguard with dentures?

You should be able to talk and drink water when you are wearing a mouthguard with dentures. Provided the mouthguard fits properly, it shouldn’t hamper your ability to speak or swallow too much. Here are some tips to assist:

Practice: With the mouthguard inside your mouth, practice speaking. This will give you a sense of how the mouthguard feels and what you may have to do to adjust the way you speak to be heard clearly.
Speak Slowly: Slow your speech down and enunciate clearly.
Small Sips: Try taking small sips instead of large gulps. Before swallowing, use your tongue to guide the water into the back of your mouth. This will help to stop water from getting trapped between the mouthguard and your dentures.
Adjust if Required: If you still encounter problems speaking or swallowing while wearing a mouthguard with dentures, It might need some adjustments. See a dental professional for advice on how your mouthguard can be adjusted for the best fit.
With a mouthguard that fits properly over your dentures, you should be able to speak and drink water with ease.

Are there any special cleaning or care instructions for a mouthguard worn with dentures?

You should follow specific cleaning and care instructions when wearing a mouthguard with dentures. By following them, you ensure proper hygiene and will help to keep your dentures in good shape. Here are the most common cleaning and care instructions:

Rinse: After each time you use the mouthguard, rinse it thoroughly under cool running water. This will remove bacteria or debris that may have formed when it was in your mouth.
Brush: With mild soap or a denture cleaner and a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush the mouthguard. It is a good idea to habitually brush the mouthguard clean daily.
Soak: Place the mouthguard in a container filled with denture-cleaning solution. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes to soak. This will disinfect the mouthguard and remove buildup.
Avoid Heat Sources: Do not expose the mouthguard to high temperatures that can be produced by hot water or direct sunlight. The mouthguard can change shape or warp with too much heat.
Store Properly: When you are not using the mouthguard, store it in a clean, dry container. This will reduce the likelihood of bacteria growth. Storing it also keeps it safe from getting damaged.
Watch for Damage: Inspect your mouthguard regularly. If you see any damage, or if the mouthguard doesn’t fit like it did before, then it may need replacing.

Final Thoughts

As you would care for your teeth and dentures, you should also pay attention to the maintenance of your mouthguard when using one with false teeth. It is a small item that can make a huge difference in any denture wearer’s life. Proper care will keep your mouthguard in good shape, with a longer lifespan, and it will save you time and money!

About Jade Roberts

After having a lot of dental issues when she was younger, and years of restorative dental work, Jade knows how difficult it is to find the right dental information. This forced her to do countless hours of research and connect with dental experts all over the world to find the right information. Learning has made her passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience so that others don't have to go through the same issues. "If I make any recommendations in the articles on the False Teeth Options website, it is because my team and I have researched and/or tested the products ourselves, and would be comfortable recommending them to our own family and friends. I'd love to hear of your experiences. So if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch."

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