Do you know the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?

Posted by DrJelinek | Filed under , ,

Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring alone can be disruptive and a nuisance. Snoring + sleep apnea can be life threatening. 

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that temporarily causes breathing to be suspended during sleep. A physical obstruction happens in the airway which limits the amount of oxygen needed to reach the lungs. In the process of attempting to breathe again due to the obstruction, loud snoring or choking noises are heard. 

The oxygen deprivation momentarily awakens a person from sleep. The cycle of waking and falling back to sleep is repeated a few times or hundreds of times throughout the night. The lack of oxygen can have long-term damaging effects such as the development of: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, pre-diabetes and diabetes and depression.

The airway obstruction is actually collapsing tissue in the back of the throat. This can be a result of the muscles of the upper airway relaxing during sleep. In “back sleepers” gravity can sometimes cause the tongue to fall back and obstruct the airway as well. In both situations the airway is narrowed or completely obstructed. 

Snoring happens when the extra tissue in the back of the throat vibrates during the flow of breathing which produces the sounds of snoring. It is estimated that about 50% of people snore at some point during their lives. Snoring can be heredity and can increase as age advances. Occasional congestion from cold or allergies may also cause snoring.

Many people with sleep apnea suffer from issues of chronic fatigue, lack of concentration or focus. These are due to “unrestful” sleep resulting from the body unconsciously and repeatedly being awakened during the night because of the struggle for oxygen.  

If you are unsure if the snoring you hear from a loved one is sleep apnea, look for correlating indicators such as excessive daytime sleepiness, gasping during sleep, pauses in breathing, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, moodiness, irritability or depression and possibly frequent trips to the bathroom at night. 

Testing for a sleep breathing disorder is critical to getting a loved one on the path of better health. If you or someone you know experiences any of the other symptoms or indicators that may suggestion the play of sleep apnea, please contact us immediately for help. 

Remember that while snoring is annoying, sleep apnea is life threatening.

How Does Toothpaste Work?

Posted by DrJelinek | Filed under ,

It’s something we have been using twice a day, every day for our entire lives, but how much do you actually know about toothpaste and how it works? Everyone knows that toothpaste helps clean our teeth and helps get rid of bad breath, but does anyone actually know how?

Toothpaste is more than just a minty soap that is used to clean teeth; it is made from several different ingredients to thoroughly clean your mouth. It consist of an abrasive to help remove plaque, a substance which prevents the growth of bacteria, a cleaning agent, flavoring, and sometimes coloring agents are added. A lot of different toothpastes also have special additives such as teeth whitening agents or fluoride used to create additional reasons to choose certain toothpastes.

You may have noticed that there are tons of choices down the dental isle of your local supermarket; there are tons of different choices of toothpastes depending on what you are looking for. It may take some trial and error but in the end the right toothpaste can leave you with a beautiful fresh smile!

Contact Dr H. Charles Jelinek, Fairfax / Northern VA general dentist, at (703) 560-8700 to find out which is the right toothpaste for you!

Sleep Survival For The Holidays

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Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. Giddyap, giddyap, giddyap, let's go.

Let's look at the show. We're riding in a wonderland of snow.

Some of us remember the holidays as a wonderland of snow – the days before global warming and global online Santa tracking. Those were the days before our lives were enhanced with everything to spin our minds in 20 directions. And there’s Black Friday. Has anyone else noticed that Black Friday has now taken Thanksgiving Day hostage?

Sometimes it feels like the holidays can be a strategic survival game. A good, old-fashioned wholesome holiday season of a “wonderland of snow” doesn’t stand a chance. And Sleep? That’s the last thing on our minds. 

However, that doesn’t need to be our reality. We were born as the most advanced species and inherited the highest level of intelligence so that we are able to make our own decisions. So, why is it so difficult to stay healthy during the holidays and get the proper sleep we need? Why is everything else more urgent and significant than our health? 

This year we encourage you to take control of the season and make it merry with friends and family. Remember the true meaning and genuine focus of the holidays. We also encourage you to monitor your sleep wellness and keep the following in mind:

 

1.Holiday H20: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink lots and lots of water. 

 

2.Juggle the Java: It’s easy to increase coffee intake during this season. We drink it when we socialize with family and friends, need a pick-me-up, or maybe because a mint-meltaway-gingerbread-hot-nutmeg-mocha-drink never sounded so delicious. The problem with additional caffeine intake is that it disrupts our proper nighttime sleep and can even make our sleep jittery.

 

3.Booze cruise alert. This is a no-brainer. Watch your alcoholic beverage consumption. Maybe you think you cannot get through another holiday with Uncle Ulysses and find yourself licking the last drop of the eggnog pitcher. Please keep in mind how easy it is to overindulge during this season. Try and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you enjoy and keep tabs on your total consumption. 

(This includes calories as well.) Excessive alcoholic consumption is known to disrupt your sleep.

 

4.Count your zzzZZs. Remember to schedule the proper amount of time for sleep and recovery for your body. Do not let this get away from you. Inadequate amount of sleep does no one any good…not yourself and not your loved ones. Count and plan for the correct hours of sleep every night.

 

5.Make Working Out Your Wonderland. Everyone considers skipping workouts to squeeze in more time for holiday preparations or celebrations. Say NO to breaking your exercise mojo.  Even as little as 20 minutes of cardio can help you sleep better and make sure it is at least 3 hours before bedtime.

 

6.Shining Star. Keep holiday lights out of your bedroom. Create a dark, cool temperature room and minimize electronics and light sources. The darker you can make your bedroom, the more beneficial it is to achieving the best quality of sleep.

 

7.Gift yourself. Take time out for yourself and enjoy the beauty of the season and days. Be as good to yourself as you are to others and remember to achieve proper sleep every night.

 

If you have a loved one who experiences any sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring, gasping for air during sleep, daytime fatigue, or has already been diagnosed with sleep apnea but is possibly CPAP intolerant, please call our office immediately for a consultation with a doctor. Within a few minutes you could be on your way to helping a friend or family member and possibly even saving a life. 

 

Women Snore Too - Sleep Apnea Found In Women

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For years we have known sleep apnea to be predominantly common in males rather than females. Therefore the common belief has been that the sleep breathing disorder affects mostly men and a small percentage of women. However, when a recent Swedish report released a medical finding showing the frequency of sleep apnea in women was much higher than what we thought, many were surprised by the data.

The research team working on the study randomly sampled 400 out of 10,000 women with ages ranging from 20 to 70. The results quantified that 50% of women scored within at least the mild range of sleep apnea! This new data containing the sleep apnea frequency found in women has gained the attention of many in the sleep industry.

The study was led by Karl A. Franklin, MD, PhD, from the Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences at Umeå University in Sweden. The report also indicated that within the group of women with sleep apnea, 20% percent had moderate sleep apnea and 6% had severe sleep apnea. The research further concluded that the age bracket distribution was not equal, nor was the distribution within the varying weight ranges.

Evidence from the report showed that sleep apnea was related to age, obesity and hypertension but not to daytime sleepiness. From the overall sampling, 84% of the obese women, between the ages of 50-70, had some form of sleep apnea. In addition, 80% of the women with high blood pressure, between the ages of 55-70, were also found to have sleep apnea – either mild, moderate, or severe.

The women’s sleep study was published August 16 in the European Respiratory Journal. Information was unavailable regarding funding and possible conflicts of interest.  Regardless of the source, the reality is, women have been overlooked as sleep apnea sufferers for too long. 

With snoring as the number one sign for sleep apnea, this led us to another related thought. Does the problem in acknowledging women as sleep apnea sufferers, lie partially within the female population?

When was the last time you asked a female if she possibly snored at night? You might as well go ahead and ask about her weight. Very few women openly admit to snoring and that’s a huge problem. It’s like admitting to passing gas, owning serious pushup bras, or even worse – admitting to their real age!

When women do admit to snoring it’s always sugar coated and almost apologetic. I once heard a woman answering the snoring question like this: “Oh yes, sorry. I do snore but not terribly. I snore gently.” WHAT? Was that a desperate effort to retain a sense of dignity and a lady-like image? 

Why do several women feel the same way about answering a snoring question, especially since we know snoring can be the alarm to a much bigger health problem such as sleep apnea? We know snoring KILLS so why do we still tip toe around the discussion? The question is not, “Do you sound like a dying warthog at night?” It is, DO YOU SNORE?

If you’re wondering what snoring has to do with sleep apnea, take a look at our Do You Snore blog: http://sleeptest.com/blog/do-you-snore.html

We know that sleep apnea sufferers experience repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, causing multiple awakenings. What many of us are still unaware of is that the pauses in breath lower the saturation of oxygen in your blood. This can result in high blood pressure and an increased risk of many heart-related diseases. In addition, sleep awakenings cause acute surges in blood pressure and heart rate, further increasing stress on the heart. 

In people with sleep apnea, the cardiac rest achieved in normal and proper sleep is not possible. This is the most alarming component of sleep apnea, since it can lead to complications such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, depression, weight gain, and many other health issues.

If you have a loved one who experiences any sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring, gasping for air during sleep, daytime fatigue, or has already been diagnosed with sleep apnea but is possibly CPAP intolerant, please call our office immediately for a consultation with a doctor. Within a few minutes you could be on your way to helping a friend or family member and possibly even saving a life. 

 

Through The Eyes Of A Child

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Question:  What do sleep disorders, craniofacial pain, child growth and development, chronic inflammation, academic and work performance, snoring, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease all have in common?

Answer: An AIRWAY Problem!

What if we could address a potential problem early in life rather than spend years and resources treating a much more serious problem later in life? Let’s take a look at the children in our country. Many people realize that more than ever before, the current generation of children are facing health issues like obesity, diabetes, and learning challenges.

What parents also need to know is that correcting unhealthy airways in children minimizes the risk of obesity, poor growth development and behavioral issues like ADHD. Yes, we said obesity and ADHD. According to Dr. Stephen Sheldon, D.O., from Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, (see http://www2.luriechildrens.org/ce/powerpoint/sheldon/sheldon.html), ADHD in children is highly linked to sleepiness and obstructive sleep apnea.

Recommended treatment for children ranges from early orthodontic to myofuctional (tongue posture) treatments that ease breathing passages, train proper muscle movements, and aid in the growth of the jaws.  Taking care of obstructions to proper breathing, like swollen tonsils and adenoids, or removing physical restrictions to tongue movements, are also on the list.

How about adults? What would happen if we followed a child with a compromised airway through adulthood? The story would look something like this: 

• Joe, a tired, sleepy child (whose airway is the size of a number two pencil) has problems focusing in school. His school performance suffers and he gets in trouble often.

• Diagnosed with ADHD, Joe is given medication and shuffles through middle school, while his body fights to adapt to a lower oxygen saturation level. 

• Despite his parents’ push for good nutrition, Joe’s body and mind obsess over carb and sugar cravings, and obesity unwillingly develops. 

• In high school Joe is diagnosed with depression, in addition to ADHD and obesity. 

School attendance is poor and the risk of dropping out is much higher. 

• In his twenties, and now an adult, Joe is diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. His weight gain continues, depression is increased, and Joe struggles keeping a job and a healthy relationship.

• By the age of 30 Joe’s shocked to be diagnosed with hypertension and high blood pressure. By Joe’s 35th birthday, he is at a huge risk for heart failure. 

This story isn’t far-fetched. We’ve seen it happen and the outcome is fatal. What’s even more alarming is that the quality of life during Joe’s 30+ years is less than ideal. It’s one of fatigue, frustration, depression, anxiety, chronic inflammation, and a laundry list of other failing health issues. From an early age, Joe suffered from a significant disadvantage in life, stemming from the fact that his airway was the size of a number two pencil. 

By working together with parents, dentists, and physicians to identify potential issues of poor airway health in children and adults, we are able to prevent serious health issues that unfold later in life. If you, a family member, or a loved one, express signs of fatigue or snoring, please contact us immediately to take the necessary next steps to achieve better overall health. 

Breathing properly makes all of the difference in a person’s quality of life.  In severe conditions, a compromised airway and untreated sleep apnea can be life threatening. Please call us today for more information. 

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea - Toll It Takes On Your Body

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Untreated sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have devastating effects on the body and mind. Sleep apnea's most noticeable side effect is leaving the person feeling drowsy and fatigued throughout the day. A person may feel as if he/she is never able to get a good night's rest no matter how long one "sleeps". This is because people with sleep apnea stop breathing at night, anywhere from a few seconds up to minutes at a time. Therefore, a person is never able to engage in the deeper levels of sleep, such as the REM and Delta stages.

Sleep apnea causes a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood which causes the heart to pump harder when trying to remove the carbon dioxide. In return, this causes a significant amount of stress on the heart. When untreated, sleep apnea can increase the chances of stroke, high blood pressure, and pulmonary hypertension. Many sleep apnea candidates have high blood pressure due to the extra work the heart has to perform in order to compensate for the lack of oxygen. If the condition is never treated, the strength of the heart begins to deteriorate and the heart pumps blood at a lower force than what the body needs.

Typically the heart is the first organ that experiences and shows signs of untreated sleep apnea. According to Neomi Shah, MD, at Yale University, having untreated sleep apnea for 4-5 years raises a person's risk of having a heart attack and death by 30%.

While the heart is the most important concern as far as the effects of sleep apnea, other areas of your body and life can be affected as well. Many people who go through life with untreated sleep apnea are far more accident prone than those who have proper sleep at night. This is because sleep apnea patients can wake up hundreds of times per night fighting to catch their breath. They constantly feel tired and have trouble focusing during the day which leads to higher rates of accidents. Patients with sleep apnea have decreased reflex time due to the lack of energy. The reflexes and hand-eye coordination depend greatly on being well rested enough to focus.

There is a growing awareness of sleep apnea contributing to a wide range of health problems. By seeking medical attention and treating sleep apnea, you will not only feel better and more energized, but you’ll also be decreasing the chances of other health problems in the future.

If you think you or your partner may have sleep apnea, please contact our office immediately so we can schedule an appointment and take the necessary next steps to treat this deadly disease.

 

Sleep Apnea - Links To Depression

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Feeling sad every now and then is a fundamental part of the human experience, especially during difficult or trying times.  In contrast, persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness and disinterest in things that were once enjoyed are symptoms of depression.  This illness affects many Americans, many of whom have sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you experience pausing in your breathing while you sleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructed Sleep Apnea (OSA), where there’s an obstruction in the upper airway.

Recent medical findings show sleep apnea linked to clinical depression.  These findings also conclude that depressed individuals may find relief through treatment of the sleep disorder.  Anne G. Wheaton, an epidemiologist with CDC (Center for Disease Control) has stated, "snorting, gasping or stopping one’s breathing while asleep, all signs of OSA was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure."  This information prompted her to conduct a study to find the correlation between depression and sleep apnea.
 
Wheaton's approach was two-fold.  First, her team asked many adults how frequently they snorted, gasped, or had pauses in their breathing while they were asleep.  Then, the team assessed the adults’ emotional health with a standard test for depression.  Six percent of the men and three percent of the women had already been diagnosed with sleep apnea by their doctors.  Over a third of the men and about a fifth of the women reported snoring more than five times a week.  The researchers found that the men with sleep apnea were more than twice as likely to report symptoms of depression, while women with sleep apnea were five times as likely to show signs of depression.
 
Among older adults, higher rates of depression and sleep problems may be explained in part by higher rates of physical illness.  Among women, motherhood and hormonal changes throughout the life cycle (menstruation, menopause) may contribute to higher rates of depression.  Higher rates of depression may also be explained by higher rates of sleep disorders within these groups.
 
Wheaton’s study concluded that men and women who reported stoppage of breath during sleep more than five times a week had triple the risk of being depressed.  This new information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and depression.  The symptom of depression can now be added to a long line of health hazards associated with OSA.

Daily studies are reporting more and more indicators of both psychological and physical health issues linked with obstructed sleep apnea.  If you or a loved one experience snorting or stopping breathing during sleep, please seek medical help immediately.  Take a quick and easy free evaluation available at our office or online at sleeptest.com to see if you could be a candidate for sleep apnea.


 

Sleep Wellness - Evaluating Sleep Hygiene

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Fall into Better Sleep Hygiene

If you are like most Americans, your smart phone has replaced your alarm clock as well as your calendar, MP3 player, camera, video camera, and address book. Your smart phone has become an extension of your office, making it impossible to turn off.  It is common for people to fall asleep with their phones beside them, while others may read in bed with a digital reader.  Many people enjoy falling asleep with the television on, and some even bring their laptops to bed.  If you recognize any of these habits as your own, you may be severely jeopardizing the quality of your nighttime sleep.

Sleep hygiene is made up of a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness. As we encourage testing for potential sleep apnea candidates, please also keep the following information in mind, when discussing and examining sleep health. Good sleep hygiene is important to your overall health and wellness.

DO's
   
           Here are some helpful tips to consider when improving sleep hygiene:

1.       Go to bed at the same time each night. 

2.       Wake up from bed at the same time each day. 

3.       Exercise regularly each day, preferably either in the morning or 3 hours before bedtime.

4.       Get regular exposure to the outdoors, or to bright lights, especially in the late afternoon.

5.       Keep the temperature in your bedroom on the cooler side, around 65 degrees.    .

6.       Keep the bedroom dark and quiet when sleeping. 

7.       Only use your bed for sleep and intimate time with your significant other. 

8.       Take medications as directed. It is helpful to take prescribed sleeping pills either 1 hour
before bedtime, so they are causing drowsiness when you lie down, or 10 hours before
getting up, to avoid daytime drowsiness. 

9.       Use a relaxation exercise, massage, or warm bath just before going to sleep.

10.   Keep your hands and feet warm.


 

DON’Ts

           Here are the things NOT to do during your sleep routine:

1.       Exercise just before going to bed. 

2.        Take daytime naps, especially more than 30 minutes.

3.       Have caffeine in the evening.

4.       Read or watch television in bed. 

5.       Consume alcohol to help you sleep.

6.       Go to bed too hungry or too full.

7.       Take another person's sleeping pills without your doctor's knowledge.  
Diphenhydramine (an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter sleep meds)
can have serious side effects for elderly patients.
 

8.       Engage in stimulating activity just before bed, such as playing a game or having an
important discussion with a loved one. 

9.       Force yourself to go to sleep. This only makes your mind and body more alert. 


Additional tip:
If you lie in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, get up, go to a different room and participate in a quiet activity (e.g. non-excitable reading or television). When you start to feel sleepy, return to bed and repeat this during the night as needed. 

If you are practicing these sleep hygiene tips and are still waking up feeling fatigued and/or groggy, there may be a bigger problem. You may be suffering from a sleep breathing disorder. The most common sleep breathing disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when there is a physical obstruction in your airway. 

The sufferer is often unaware they have a problem since it happens during sleep, making OSA is a serious condition that should not be ignored.  Ask someone to observe you while you sleep.  This person may notice shallow breathing and possibly pauses in breath, which can look disturbing.  The breathing interruptions can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, per breathing episode.  This causes the individual to get restless sleep and consequently feel extremely fatigued during the day.  

 

If you or someone you know may be at risk for a sleep breathing disorder, please call us today, to avoid this potentially life threatening disease.   

Sleep Apnea - A Silent Killer

Posted by DrJelinek | Filed under ,

When tragedy strikes, people across the country are left asking a similar question, “Could I have done anything to save my loved one?” Undoubtedly these thoughts reside with everyone at some point during the painful grieving process. Is there anything we can do?

 

This discussion is dedicated to all family and friends that have passed away from a silent killer known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is caused by a physical obstruction in the airway causing a person to stop breathing several times throughout the night. In examining and categorizing overall health, we began by turning to a popular television program familiar with sleep apnea and obesity as an American epidemic -- The Biggest Loser. The physicians working with this show succinctly organize health into four pillars: psychological well-being, healthy eating, healthy exercise, and sleep. When the fourth pillar (sleep) is not properly achieved, it severely impacts the success of the other three. Without the proper sleep, your psychological wellness, nutrition, and exercise don’t stand a chance. The reality is that we spend about one third of our life sleeping. Our bodies absolutely need that time of rest so we have the energy and focus to live healthy and balanced lives. If you suffer from even mild sleep apnea, your body is not attaining the ideal rest and rejuvenation it needs, leaving you fatigued all day long. Continuous feelings of exhaustion can trickle down to hormonal imbalance, which leads to poor nutritional choices and cravings, depression, and a lack of energy needed for sustaining exercise routines. With this information, it is easy to understand how a deficiency of proper sleep affects all your pillars of health, as outlined by the physicians of The Biggest Loser program.


One of the greatest dangers of sleep apnea is the physical strain it puts on your organs, specifically the heart. The medical description for normal and proper sleep is defined as “a decreased sympathetic activity which lowers heart rate and blood pressure creating a period of cardiac rest."  When your heart never experiences the rest it needs, extra stress is placed on the heart walls, which can lead to a fatal and life-threatening situation. It is well known that sleep apnea sufferers experience repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, causing multiple awakenings. Not as well known is that this lowers the saturation of oxygen in your blood and can result in high blood pressure and an increased risk of many heart-related diseases. In addition, sleep awakenings cause acute surges in blood pressure and heart rate, further increasing stress on the heart. 


With obstructive sleep apnea, the cardiac rest achieved in normal and proper sleep is not possible. This is the most alarming component of sleep apnea, since it may lead to many complications. If you have a loved one who experiences any sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring, gasping for air during sleep, daytime fatigue, or has already been diagnosed with sleep apnea but is possibly CPAP intolerant, please call our office immediately for a consultation with the doctor. Within a few minutes you could be on your way to helping a friend or family member and possibly even saving his/her life. 


Mouthguards Can Save Your Children's Teeth

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Injuries to the mouth and face are the number-one sports trauma, and a dental injury is not only painful and costly; it's also permanent. Fortunately, many mouth injuries can be prevented by wearing an athletic mouth protector—also called a mouthguard.  

A mouthguard is a soft plastic appliance that fits over the teeth. When a properly designed mouthguard is worn, the lips, cheek, tongue and jaws are protected, as well as the teeth. The American Dental Association estimates that mouthguards prevent 200,000 injuries each year in high-school and college sports alone. 

Most people are aware that sports mouthguards are mandatory for participation in high-contact sports such as football, boxing and hockey. But what many people don't realize is that the majority of mouth injuries occur in children between the ages of 7 and 14, often while participating in commonplace activities like skateboarding, rollerblading or bike riding! Mouthguards should be worn during all activities where there is a risk of falling or head contact, either with another player or a piece of equipment. The Academy for Sports Dentistry has identified 35 activities and sports in which mouthguards should be worn to prevent orofacial injury, including baseball, soccer, basketball, martial arts, skiing, volleyball and gymnastics.

The most common mouth injuries are broken or lost teeth, but a blow to the mouth or jaw can also cause: 

jaw fractures

concussions and cerebral hemorrhage

head and neck injuries

problems with the jaw joint

jaw dislocations

 

Choosing a mouthguard

There are three types of mouthguards available: 

 - ready-made stock mouthguards

 - boil-and-bite mouthguards

 - custom-made mouthguards

Stock mouthguards are used right off the shelf. No modifications are made to enhance or customize the fit, so they offer very little, if any, protection. They also tend to feel loose, bulky and uncomfortable, and interfere with breathing and speaking, so it's likely they'll just be left in the gym bag. 

Boil-and-bite mouthguards fit somewhat better, because after they are purchased, their fit is enhanced somewhat by softening them in boiling water, then shaping them around teeth and allowing them to harden. However, this type of mouthguard also hampers speech and breathing, because the fit is not optimal. Furthermore, they aren't thick enough to provide adequate protection, and they become brittle after awhile so they need to be replaced relatively frequently.

Custom-made mouthguards are by far the best choice. For about the cost of a good pair of athletic shoes, custom mouthguards offer: 

 - sufficient thickness in critical areas, so protection is maximized

 - the best possible fit and retention

 - greater durability, which means less frequent replacement

Custom mouthguards are created specifically for you by professional technicians, using a material that is resilient, odorless and tasteless. To fabricate a custom-made mouthguard, on the first appointment, impressions of your teeth are made. From these impressions, models of your teeth are created. The mouthguard is fabricated on these models to ensure that the fit is precise. Then, on your next appointment, your mouthguard is tried in and adjusted as necessary to make sure protection and comfort are optimized.

While any mouthguard is better than none at all, a custom mouthguard is far more comfortable, so it's less likely to be left lying in the locker or the gym bag. They are also much more effective in preventing injuries, since they conform precisely to an individual's teeth. A custom mouthguard costs a bit more than off-the-shelf varieties, but their precise fit, comfort and excellent quality make them well worth the additional cost.