Mouthguards – Do They Really Work?

Sore jaw? Restless nights? Play sports? If any of these apply to you, you might be surprised to hear that you could use a mouthguard!

Functions of Mouthguards

Mouthguards are solid pieces of plastic that keep your teeth and jaw in a specific resting position. The basic function of a mouthguard is protection. Mouthguards help prevent accidental mouth injuries, ease pain from grinding your teeth, and can even help patients with trouble sleeping.

They usually only cover the top row of teeth, but can sometimes be made to cover the bottom row too. You can buy a mouthguard pre-made, custom-made, or use the “boil and bite” method for something in the middle. Custom mouth guards from your Incline Village dentist offer the highest level of protection and the most comfortable fit, but no matter where you get your mouthguard, actually wearing it is the most important part.

Types of Mouthguards

All mouthguards look and function mostly the same, but they might be slightly different based on the need they serve. The main uses for mouthguards include:

  • Sports: Athletes are 60 times more likely to harm their teeth if they aren’t wearing a mouthguard. (Wow!) Even sports where you aren’t likely to crash into another person run a risk against your mouth. And adults aren’t excluded from this—dentists recommend that people of all ages use a mouthguard when participating in sports or outdoor activities. An injury to the mouth could cause permanent tooth loss, or serious injury to your tongue and lips.
  • Night Guards: According to the American Dental Association, bruxism or teeth grinding is very common and occurs in 10-15% of all adults. Grinding your teeth at night can cause tooth damage, headaches, and a sore jaw. A night guard can prevent grinding and the negative side effects. Bruxism can be a serious problem and you should talk with your dentist and doctor about any and all reasons you might be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, especially if it’s leading to bigger problems like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  • Sleep Apnea: If you temporarily stop breathing in your sleep, a mouthguard or oral appliance can help hold your tongue and lower jaw in place to improve airflow. Sleep apnea can cause a lot of problems for your oral and overall health such as dry mouth and exhaustion, and can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. A mouthguard can also help you stop snoring. Not all cases of sleep apnea can be treated with a mouthguard so ask your dentist or doctor what’s best for you.

And yes, you can wear a mouthguard even if you have braces. Imagine how much more painful it might be to have an accident with braces involved! Talk with your dentist about finding a mouth guard that fits properly and suits your needs.

Care for your mouthguard by regularly cleaning it with soap and water, brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste, and keeping it in a ventilated case to prevent bacteria from growing.

Emergency Dentistry

Even with the best prevention, if you do experience an accidental injury to your mouth, emergency dentistry is here for you. Most dentists have an answering service after office hours; so don’t hesitate to call at any time if you need help.

If you experience trouble with long-term issues like TMJ, teeth grinding, or sleep apnea, talk with your dentist. Fixing your oral health can drastically improve many other areas of your life.

Dr. Milligan in Incline Village views dentistry as a total body practice to help you live the life you want. Call Incline Dental Care today to make an appointment and let us be your partners in health.

Incline Dental Care
231 Village Blvd
Incline Village, NV 89451
(775) 298-5455
Office Hours
Mon – Thurs: 8am to 5pm


Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

DDS vs. DMD: A Dental Degree Breakdown

If you are looking for a dentist in Incline Village, you may have picked up on the fact that there are two types of dental degrees – DDS and DMD. Perhaps you’ve noticed that there are far more of one than the other, or maybe they are split 50/50.

Either way, you’re probably wondering what the difference is, and how this will affect your dental care. At Incline Dental Care, we love to spread the word about all things dental, so here are the facts, straight from Dr. Milligan. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News

What is Dental Botox®?

As specialists in facial anatomy and esthetics, an increasing number of dentists are taking their skills into the world of Botox®. Often associated just with appearances, Botox® can be equally as therapeutic as cosmetic.

Botox® is a purified protein that irons out wrinkles by attaching to a muscle and preventing it from contracting. (Muscle contracting away from skin is what causes wrinkles). This has thus far been its most popular use in cosmetic facial treatments.

What most patients don’t know is this same function can relax other muscles in the jaw and face for pain relief or support of orthodontics. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

How Dental Nightguards Can Help You

It’s common to see people wearing mouthguards in Incline Village for protection during all kinds of sports, such as football, basketball, and boxing – but did you know that lots of folks wear mouthguards at night for their dental health? People who grind their teeth (bruxism) and people with sleep apnea can get relief from their symptoms simply by wearing a specially-designed mouth guard at night. Dr. Milligan has helped many Incline Village residents improve their quality of life with nightguards. Our team at Incline Dental Care invite you to come visit us today to find out more.

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Dental Insurance FAQ: the Basics

At Incline Dental Care, we understand that dental insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate. Evaluating dental plans and considering deductibles, benefits, which treatments are covered, and the mountain of other information insurance companies provide can be a headache in and of itself. Dr. Milligan wants every Incline Village resident to have the power to control their own health, so here’s a simplified guide to the basics of dental health insurance. As always, if you have a question, don’t be afraid to give us a call!

Dental Insurance

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Caring for Your Dentures

The image of a glass full of false teeth on the nightstand is plastered all throughout popular culture. You would think that soaking your dentures in water and cleaner is sufficient, but Dr. Milligan reminds us that proper denture care requires more than just that. In fact, denture maintenance is an important part of oral health. For Incline Village residents who have dentures or are considering them, it is important to know exactly how they function and how to care for them. If you have any questions, please give us a call at Incline Dental Care. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Essential Oils for Oral Health

Essential oils are time-tested treasures gaining new popularity among fans everywhere. These potent liquids are fun and fresh ingredients that you can customize for almost any oral hygiene need.  As with any DIY dental treatment, do your research and be cautious. Not all oils are safe to ingest, and some may hurt you if applied directly to your skin.

Essential oils are distilled from plants and usually sold singularly with one ingredient per bottle, although you can also find oil blend products. Like other supplements, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate their safety or efficacy.

Using Essential Oils for Oral Health

Those in the natural health field are concerned that dangerous chemicals in conventional health products may hinder natural bodily functions, especially the endocrine system. The attraction to using essential oils in dentistry is that they may not pose such a risk to the body. Cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, myrrh, clove, and tea tree essential oils are all believed to be antimicrobial, which means they kill germs that cause pain, disease, and decay. Myrrh oil may also soothe and heal gums by increasing blood flow to the tissue, and clove oil may aid in numbing pain. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

The Tooth About Teeth Grinding

Headaches in Incline Village are a dime a dozen. We all know the frustration of having your day interrupted by throbbing, shooting pains in the head. If you suffer from frequent headaches that never seem to go away, Dr. Milligan would like you to know about bruxism, or teeth grinding. At Incline Dental Care, we love spreading the news about all things dental health, so here is some headache information that just might change your life.

Bruxism and Headaches

You may not be aware of it, but everyone clenches and grinds their teeth at some point and to some degree. It’s a natural reaction to stress. During the day, you might catch yourself doing it and make a conscious effort to stop, but during the night, you are unaware of it and will naturally grind much harder. Unfortunately, some people in Incline Village have such problems with bruxism that they may experience:

  • Frequent, painful headaches
  • Damaged, worn-down teeth and surrounding tissues

According to Dr. Noshir Mehta, chairman of general dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and director of its Craniofacial Pain Center, the upper and lower teeth come into contact for as much as 40 minutes of each hour. The force exerted on some teeth, such as the first molars, can be about 250 lbs, as opposed to the 20-40 lbs involved in regular daily chewing.

If you grind your teeth and have frequent headaches, don’t panic. Bruxism is easily treatable with custom-fit night guards that Dr. Milligan will personally fit for your teeth. To find out more about how we can make your headaches disappear, call us at Incline Dental Care at (775) 298-5455 today.


Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Veneers Can Give You Back Your Smile!

Having a great smile is a privilege that everyone in Incline Village should enjoy. The confidence that comes from having genuine pride in your pearly whites is irreplaceable. However, many of us struggle with imperfections in our teeth. Broken, chipped, cracked, stained, and crooked teeth can really put a damper on your smile. At Incline Dental Care, we know how much a healthy, happy smile means to Incline Village residents, so we’d like to talk about how Dr. Milligan can help get you the smile you deserve with veneers.  Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Dental Technology

Choosing the Right Dentist

It’s no secret that Incline Village residents are careful about how they choose medical professionals for their family, but sometimes it’s not easy to find everything you want in a dentist. We at Incline Dental Care understand that choosing a dentist is no small feat, so we’ve put together this guide to picking a dentist for individuals and families. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us! Even if you decide on a different dentist, Incline Dental Care is always happy to help! Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Patient Care