Mouthguards are oral devices designed to protect the teeth, jaws, and surrounding soft tissues from injury or damage during sports activities or while sleeping. They serve as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, absorbing and redistributing forces that may result from impacts, collisions, or teeth grinding. In sports, mouthguards help prevent tooth fractures, avulsions, and soft tissue injuries. In contrast, therapeutic mouthguards, such as night guards or occlusal splints, alleviate symptoms associated with bruxism (teeth grinding) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders by promoting jaw relaxation and minimizing tooth wear. Ultimately, mouthguards are crucial in preserving oral health, promoting overall well-being, and preventing dental injuries in various contexts. 

Sports Mouthguards 

Sports mouthguards are protective devices worn over the teeth and gums during athletic activities to reduce the risk of dental injuries. These injuries can occur due to impacts, collisions, or falls during sports and recreational activities, leading to tooth fractures, avulsions (knocked-out teeth), and soft tissue injuries to the lips, cheeks, and tongue. Sports mouthguards serve as a cushioning barrier that absorbs and disperses the forces generated by these impacts, minimizing the risk of oral trauma and preserving the integrity of the teeth and surrounding structures. 

Types of Sports Mouthguards 

  • Stock mouthguards are preformed, ready-to-wear devices in standard sizes and shapes. They are typically made of inexpensive rubber or polyethylene and are available at sporting goods stores. While affordable and convenient, stock mouthguards often provide a poor fit and limited protection due to their inability to conform to the individual's teeth and mouth anatomy. 
  • Boil-and-bite mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when heated in boiling water. After softening, the mouthguard is placed in the mouth, allowing the individual to bite down and mold it to the shape of their teeth and gums. Boil-and-bite mouthguards offer better fit and protection than stock mouthguards, as they can be customized to some extent. However, they may still need more precise fit and customization of custom-fitted mouthguards. 
  • Custom-fitted mouthguards are fabricated by dental professionals in Zionsville, IN, based on impressions of the individual's teeth and mouth. These mouthguards offer the best fit, comfort, and protection, as they are tailored to the wearer's unique anatomy. Custom-fitted mouthguards provide optimal coverage of the teeth and gums, ensuring maximum shock absorption and minimizing the risk of injury. While they may be more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards, custom-fitted mouthguards offer superior comfort and protection, making them the preferred choice for many athletes. 

Occlusal Splints 

  • Occlusal splints, also known as dental splints or bite guards, are custom-made oral appliances that fit over the teeth to protect them from grinding-related damage and promote jaw relaxation. 
  • These splints are typically made from hard acrylic material and are custom-fabricated by dental professionals based on impressions of the patient's teeth. 
  • Occlusal splints help reduce the effects of bruxism by providing a smooth and stable biting surface, preventing tooth-to-tooth contact, and allowing the jaw muscles to relax. 
  • They can also help improve symptoms of TMJ disorders by reducing pressure on the temporomandibular joints and promoting proper jaw alignment. Contact us today!

Night Guards 

  • Night guards are a type of occlusal splint specifically designed to be worn during sleep to protect the teeth and jaws from grinding-related damage. 
  • Unlike traditional occlusal splints, night guards are often made from softer materials, such as thermoplastic or dual laminate, to provide cushioning and comfort during sleep. 
  • Night guards help alleviate symptoms of bruxism by absorbing the forces generated by teeth grinding, reducing muscle tension in the jaw and face, and preventing tooth wear. 
  • They also improve sleep quality for individuals affected by bruxism, as they create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, minimizing grinding noises and disruptions. 

The Benefits of Occlusal Splints and Night Guards 

Protection from Grinding-Related Damage 

Occlusal splints and night guards create a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing excessive wear and tear caused by grinding and clenching during sleep. By absorbing the forces generated by these parafunctional habits, these devices help preserve the integrity of the teeth and prevent damage such as enamel erosion, tooth fractures, and gum recession. 

Alleviation of Jaw Pain and Headaches 

Bruxism and TMJ disorders often manifest as jaw pain, headaches, facial tension, and discomfort. Occlusal splints and night guards help alleviate these symptoms by promoting jaw relaxation, reducing muscle tension in the jaw and face, and providing cushioning for the temporomandibular joint. These devices can significantly reduce pain and improve overall comfort by stabilizing the bite and minimizing pressure on the TMJ. 

Improvement in Sleep Quality 

Night guards are designed to be worn during sleep, creating a comfortable barrier between the upper and lower teeth. By reducing grinding noises and disturbances that may disrupt sleep, night guards help improve sleep quality and promote restful sleep for individuals affected by bruxism. Better sleep quality can significantly impact overall health and well-being, including increased energy levels, improved cognitive function, and enhanced mood. 

Prevention of Further Oral Health Complications 

Left untreated, bruxism and TMJ disorders can lead to further oral health complications such as tooth wear, cracked teeth, gum recession, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Occlusal splints and night guards address the underlying causes of these conditions, providing adequate protection for the teeth and jaws and helping prevent further damage and complications. These devices contribute to long-term dental wellness and overall quality of life by preserving oral health and function. 

Mouthguards are indispensable for preserving oral health, preventing dental injuries, and addressing common concerns such as bruxism and TMJ disorders. Visit Village Orthodontics at 95 E Oak St STE B, Zionsville, IN 46077, or 1911 N Lebanon St, Lebanon, IN 46052, to schedule a consultation and ensure your smile stays safe and healthy for years to come! You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (317) 873-6927.


1911 N Lebanon St, Lebanon, IN 46052

Phone: (317) 873-6927


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  • WED8:00 am - 11:00 am
  • THU - SUNClosed
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95 E Oak St STE B, Zionsville, IN 46077

Phone: (317) 873-6927


  • MON - WED8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • THU7:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • FRI - SUNClosed
Contact Us