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Custom Mouth Guards: Are You a Good Candidate?

July 7, 2016 by karafin

131593916When it comes to preventive dental care, most people know that they should brush their teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist every six months. But did you know that a custom mouth guard could also preserve the health of your smile? Custom mouth guards protect the teeth and gums from the damage caused by chronic teeth grinding and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, prevent dental injuries in athletes, and treat certain cases of sleep apnea. At SoCal Smiles Dentistry, Dr. Scott Karafin offers various family dentistry services, including custom mouth guards. Contact our Rancho Santa Margarita, CA practice today to find out if a custom mouth guard is right for you.

Who Should Wear a Custom Mouth Guard?

Dr. Karafin will examine the health of your mouth, discuss any dental problems you may be experiencing, and learn about your lifestyle to determine if you are a good candidate for a custom mouth guard.


Any patient that participates in contact sports should have a custom mouth guard designed to protect the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth from injury. While many athletes opt for store-bought mouth guards, these products simply do not provide the level of protection offered by custom mouth guards. We urge athletes and parents of athletes to invest in a custom mouth guard – it could end up saving you a significant amount in future dental costs.

Patients that Suffer from Certain Health Conditions

Patients that suffer from certain health conditions can reduce symptoms by wearing a custom mouth guard. We frequently recommend mouth guards to patients with:

  • Bruxism: Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, is a condition in which patients unconsciously grind their teeth or clench their jaw. Often triggered by stress, many people grind their teeth at night. To prevent the tooth wear, gum recession, and dental pain that result from bruxism, patients can wear a custom mouth guard while they sleep.
  • TMJ disorder: TMJ disorder occurs when the jaw joints become overworked or inflamed, often as a result of bruxism or bite misalignment. The condition can result in pain, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and a clicking noise when the jaw joint moves. A custom mouth guard can be worn at night to hold the jaw in proper alignment, thereby reducing the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the tongue and throat become relaxed to a point that they inhibit airflow to the lungs. The condition can result in symptoms such as loud snoring, interrupted sleep, daytime fatigue, and waking with a sore throat or dry mouth. Dr. Karafin can fit you with an oral appliance that is designed to move the lower jaw forward or hold the tongue in place so the airway is unobstructed throughout the night.

The Custom Mouth Guard Fabrication Process

To fit you for a custom mouth guard, we will take impressions of your mouth. The impressions are sent to our trusted dental lab, where technicians will craft a device that fits comfortably and snugly around your teeth. It takes about two weeks for the custom mouth guard fabrication process.

To find out if a custom mouth guard is right for you or your child, contact SoCal Smiles Dentistry today.


Family dentist Scott Karafin in Rancho Santa Margarita can help you and your entire family to enjoy outstanding oral health. He offers comprehensive general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services in a relaxing, friendly environment.

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SoCal Smiles Dentistry
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Rancho Santa Margarita Office
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Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

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