German Church Road Family Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Night Guards, Sports Guards, TMJ Appliances

How can we help you?

We want you to be educated about the dental services and treatments we offer because the more information you have, the more proactive you will be about managing your own oral health. All your questions are important, and no question is ever too small.

We've answered a few of the questions we hear most often, but we encourage you to contact our office if the information you're looking for is not provided here.

Night Guards, Sports Guards, TMJ Appliances

Mouth Protections in IndianapolisIt’s easy to underestimate the protection an athletic mouthguard provides until you take an elbow to the jaw during a pick-up basketball game! Estimates indicate that nearly 40 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related, with 5 million teeth avulsed (knocked out) during these activities. Unfortunately, compliance is a problem, and even in sports like football where wearing protective gear is mandated, only about two-thirds of athletes wear their mouth guard.

Providing Protection for Your Smile

As far as which provides the most protection, an over-the-counter mouthguard is better than no nightguard at all. And while both are made of plastic, generic mouthguards are made of a thinner material that’s suitable for a wide range of people. They are fitted by boiling them until they’re soft and pliable and then biting down on them, hence the term “boil and bite” mouthguards.

Custom athletic mouthguards at our Indianapolis dental office are made of strong, heavy material and are fitted by taking impressions of your teeth. Not only are they more durable, but they are designed to fit comfortably, which eliminates a lot of the compliance problems with generic mouthguards.

Custom Athletic Mouthguards in Indianapolis

At German Church Road Dentistry, we offer all the services you need to maintain excellent oral health, including custom athletic mouthguards. Please call us so we can provide the full protection your smile needs. 

Dentist in Indianapolis | Smiling PatientMost of us grind our teeth from time to time, especially in moments of stress or frustration. However, chronic teeth grinding, also known as bruxing, is a problem because it places stress on your teeth that can lead to a host of dental problems. Most bruxing occurs while you’re sleeping, so you may not be aware of doing it, but Dr. Uhl will see the evidence in the form of unusual dental damage.

Common symptoms of bruxism are:

  • Increased tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Chipped, or fractured teeth
  • Neck, facial, or jaw pain
  • Worn dental enamel

At German Church Road Dentistry, we recommend nightguards in Indianapolis for our patients who grind their teeth. A nightguard is a custom oral device that fits over your upper teeth like a mouth guard. Its goal is to reduce the contact that your upper and lower jaw have when you clench your jaw during sleep, thereby minimizing the damage done to your teeth.

TMJ Treatment in Cumberland

If you are noticing any of the above symptoms and think it might be related to teeth grinding or clenching, please call our office to arrange an appointment with Dr. Uhl to discuss your concerns.

If you have jaw pain, earaches, or headaches that seem to come out of nowhere, you might want to investigate whether or not you have issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The purpose of this joint is to enable you to open and close your mouth, and when this “hinge” doesn’t work correctly, it can result in painful conditions that can impact your quality of life. Chronic teeth-grinders often have issues with the TMJ because of the forceful clenching.

Signs of TMJ disorders include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the joint that enables you to open and close your mouth
  • Pain that seems like an earache but is related to the jaw
  • Facial pain
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth, or locking of the joint
  • Difficulty chewing or painful chewing

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, your first step should be to contact our Indianapolis, IN dental clinic to ask about TMJ disorders. Dr. Dane Uhl will conduct a thorough examination to check for signs of TMJ. He can offer some possible solutions to help eliminate your pain so you can get on with your life.

Remember that dental pain is never normal. Call German Church Road Family Dentistry to find out more about TMJ disorders, and we can help to relieve your pain.

TMJ Treatment in CumberlandTMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, the jaw joint that allows your mouth to open and close and move from side to side. You can feel the TMJ working if you place your fingers slightly forward and just below your ears while opening and closing your mouth.

This joint does a tremendous amount of work and is one of the most complex in the human body. And, just like any other joint, the TMJ can become sore from overuse, especially when you grind and clench your teeth during sleep.

TMJ Treatment with Dr. Uhl

Dr. Dane Uhl offers TMJ treatment at our Indianapolis dental office that involves wearing a custom device – either a mouth guard or oral appliance – to limit the contact your upper and lower teeth have when you grind your teeth. These devices also act as a buffer to absorb the force of grinding and minimize the damage to your teeth.

TMJ Treatment in Indianapolis

If you are suffering from chronic headaches or jaw and neck pain, please call our office to arrange an appointment. Dr. Uhl will evaluate your needs by talking to you about your symptoms and taking x-rays as needed to identify the source of the grinding to minimize its effects and protect your oral health.

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