A member asked:

Will a football mouth guard work instead of a specialized guard for teeth grinding?

11 doctors weighed in across 6 answers
Dr. Luis Villaplana answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

It might: These mouth guards may be a tad harder than the prescribed ones tho.

Answered 12/31/2011

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Dr. Scott Greenhalgh answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Football Mouthguard?: They can work in dire circumstances of pronounced muscle pain, and then only for a few days. Generally, they actually make jaw and TMJ pain worse.

Answered 9/23/2019

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Dr. Ryan Tamburrino answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

For teeth only: While more inexpensive, the sports guard will protect the teeth, but it has been shown that these appliances may actually induce more instances of clenching and grinding. You are much better off having an appliance fabricated and adjusted to your bite vs. A one size fits all approach.

Answered 10/21/2016

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Dr. Arnold Malerman answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

No: Sports mouth guars are designed to prevent dramatic damage to teeth and surrounding tissues, and to reduce the chance of concussion. Occlusal Orthotics are designed to help stabilize your occlusion, prevent untoward wear, and protect the jaw joint. Over-use of an athletic mouthguard can actually cause joint damage. Would you use an Ace elbow support for a damaged knee? See your Dentist for Rx.

Answered 10/21/2016

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Dr. Hilary Baskin answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

No: you will need a specific mouthguard to address your grinding that a dentist or orthodontist can provide

Answered 11/20/2014

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Dr. Robert Douglas answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

No!: a football or other athletic mouth guard is designed to cushion the shock of a block or tackle. It does not let the jaws move freely. It is possible that wearing such a mouth guard will make your jaws hurt because your muscles are fighting to move . A qualified TMJ dentist will make a night splint for you that will make you feel better.

Answered 7/2/2015

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