Custom mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth that can serve numerous purposes. Many people wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth during athletics. You may also wear a custom mouthguard as a treatment for TMJ/TMD, sleep apnea or to protect your teeth from grinding (bruxism). There are many types of mouth guards that can be purchased in drugstores and sporting goods stores. But there are many advantages to having a mouthguard custom-made by a dentist.
A dentist can help you make sure a mouthguard is the right treatment for you and that the fit is correct and won't cause joint, muscle or teeth problems. Most of the mouthguards you purchase in a store are fit to your teeth after softening the plastic in hot water and then biting into the material as it cools. Often this results in very poor fit. This poor adaptation to your teeth can make the mouthguard uncomfortable to wear and ineffective. Custom mouthguards will fit precisely over your teeth and stay in during sports or while you are sleeping. Most patients report that they find store-bought mouthguards uncomfortable and bulky in comparison to a custom-made device.