In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on the realm of jaw-clenching, and why it's a risk for many people -- including those who play sports or compete in other activities. From potential jaw paint to tooth sensitivity, higher injury risk and more, there are several possible issues with jaw clenching, but also some simple ways to avoid them -- the use of a quality mouthguard chief among them.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're happy to offer the very best custom mouthguard options for any sport or activity you're involved in, from MMA and muay thai through football mouthguards, basketball mouthguards and more. In today's part two of our series, we'll shift gears and look at precisely how a good mouthguard will stop clenching from being a major issue, no matter which forms of activity you take part in.
Creating a Barrier
As many of our readers have already surmised before reading this far, the goal of a mouthguard is to create a barrier between the teeth and jaw. The result is that when you clench your jaw, it doesn't impact those areas -- rather, the barrier remains firmly in place instead.
In comparison, if you choose not to wear a mouthguard and clench your jaw anyway, you might end up with all sorts of problems. You may have chipped or fractured teeth; severe tooth sensitivity; a lockjaw that lasts throughout the day -- even into the next morning; facial pain -- both immediate and long-term.
Spreading Out Impact
Injury to the mouth or jaw area can both exacerbate and further certain clenching-related issues, but mouthguards also work to spread out the impact of an injury. This means that for those who have already been diagnosed with jaw pain or other issues related to clenching, a custom mouthguard can help reduce this discomfort and prevent it from worsening over time.
For instance, let's say you're a basketball player and you fall to the ground while chasing after a loose ball. You land directly on your jaw and immediately feel severe pain, which leads to clenching until it subsides somewhat.
With a good mouthguard, however, that injury may not be quite as bad -- thanks to the spread-out impact of the mouthguard itself. Rather than the impact concentrating on a single point, it's distributed across the mouthguard's surface.
Choosing Ideal Mouthguard for Clenching Prevention
If you know clenching is an issue for you while you play sports or engage in similar activities, exploring the best mouthguard options is a must. For starters, ensuring the mouthguard is comfortable and fits properly will go a long way toward mitigating jaw clenching and its associated issues. A mouthguard that is too bulky or makes you feel like you're wearing a full-face mask likely won't lessen the urge to clench -- instead, it may irritate your mouth, potentially leading to further problems.
Thus, when shopping around for customized mouthguards, consider the size and thickness of what you're purchasing. Is it thin enough to fit comfortably? Does it feel like a comfortable mouthguard for clenching issues, or does it seem too bulky to be effective in this regard?