Doctor Bill Ligon on mouthguards
As far as mouthguards go, we fabricate different levels of protection on mouthguards depending on the type of sport that an individual is involved in. They can be made with hard layers, with soft layers, any combination of that. Kids of all ages these days are in athletics, and tooth loss is a big deal. I know a lot of younger kids don’t even bother with wearing mouthguards, or they get the boil-and-bite type that don’t really fit their dentation the way it should be. But mouthguards are very important in trying to protect what teeth you have there.
We also make mouthguards for people with TMJ disorder, bruxism – that’s grinding and clenching your teeth. You can do a lot of damage. Your jaw muscle’s pretty strong, so you can actually crack teeth, definitely get a lot of occlusal wear on teeth. We make a variety of appliances to treat that. It alleviates pain in the jaw. It keeps you from being able to clench. A lot of people have migraine headache; we can treat stuff with what’s called NTI appliance, for example. It just goes on your anterior teeth, but that’s something that kind of deprograms the musculature and keeps you from being able to clench down, which obviously is going to relieve a lot of stress on your joint as well as being able to keep you from grinding and cracking any of your teeth. So it’s a very wide variety of products to treat that