Night Guards And Sports Guards Specialist

Arne Gundersen, D.D.S. -  - Cosmetic Dentist

Gundersen Dental Care

Arne Gundersen, D.D.S.

Cosmetic Dentist & General Dentist located in Tumwater, WA

Dr. Arne Gundersen and his staff at Gundersen Dental Care offer both night guards and sports guards for athletes and grinders. Protecting your teeth, and your mouth in general, from damage, is extremely important if you want to maintain good oral health. If you and your family live in the Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey, Washington areas, you can visit Gundersen Dental Care or call to make an appointment with Dr. Gundersen for mouthguards or any dental appliances.

Night Guards and Sports Guards Q & A

What are the effects of grinding your teeth during sleep?

When you grind your teeth during sleep, several things can occur. Repeated grinding over long periods of time will wear away the chewing surface of your molars, making them flat and smooth. The mounds and tips atop each molar are an important aid in the chewing process, breaking down fibers and allowing the digestive juices to work their way inside the food. This is actually the first step in the digestive process.

Grinding your teeth can also cause them to slide from side to side. Without the ridges in place that allow your teeth to fit comfortably together, your jaws can easily shift putting stress on your temporomandibular joint. Eventually, this can damage the joint causing chronic pain and discomfort.

Why are mouth guards required in certain sports?

Mouth guards are often required for certain sports simply because many sports involve blows to the head or the face that cause the teeth to be forced together. When a mouthguard is worn, it prevents your jaws from slamming together and keeps the teeth from breaking or chipping. The mouth guard also cushions the blow, absorbing the shock and reducing the impact on the rest of your face.

If your child visits Dr. Gundersen to be fitted for a mouth guard, he will make one that is customized to their needs and is approved for the sport in question. Dr. Gundersen will make sure the appliance fits correctly and offers the desired amount of protection needed to prevent damage to the teeth.

How often should guards be replaced?

Most mouth guards are designed to last approximately two years. If the guard is to be used by an adolescent who is still growing, it may need to be replaced more often. Changes in the structure of your child's mouth will alter how the mouth guard fits, causing it to not function as well as it should. As soon as these changes are noticed, the mouth guard should be replaced.

Night guards that are used on a regular basis will begin to lose their shape or their resiliency over time. Dr. Gundersen will evaluate the fit of your mouthguard at each checkup to determine whether or not a new one needs to be made. Much like with sports guards, if you begin to notice changes in how your appliance fits, Dr. Gundersen should be notified so a new one can be made.


Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance plans. Our office staff is always available to help you with insurance claims and paperwork. We’ll work with your insurance provider to make sure your coverage meets your needs and your budget. Please let us know if you have any questions about your insurance coverage.

  Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield
Assurant PPO/Dental Health Alliance
Delta Dental
Premera Blue Cross