Gum Shields & Mouth Guards

Protect your teeth from damage

Home General Dental Treatments Gum Shields & Mouth Guards

Gum Shields & Mouth Guards

Trauma to the teeth and mouth can result in lacerations and bleeding to the gums. It can also fracture or dislodge teeth. Whether as the result of an accidental strike directly to the mouth or due to a knock on the chin crashing your teeth together, impacts to the mouth can result in a variety of injuries, one more serious than the next.


Living an active lifestyle is important: to keep your body healthy. Regardless of how you enjoy spending your time being active, it is worth considering the potential for injury to your mouth and damage to your teeth if you happen to sustain a blow to your face or mouth.


Gum shields typically cover your teeth when you are staying active. They act by cushioning the blow and spreading the force evenly. They are designed to offer protection against broken teeth and other damage to the soft tissues in your mouth.

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What is a mouthguard?

The mouth guard, also often referred to as gumshield, is a flexible dental appliance that offers protection to the teeth and soft mouth tissues when it is worn. The device is an important piece of athletic equipment for any person who participates in sports or activities that could involve body contact, falls or moving equipment.

There are typically three types of guards for the mouth.

Custom-made guards

Custom-made guards are designed to fit your mouth and your teeth. The impressions are taken in your dentist’s office and sent off to the laboratory to be made. These guards are the most comfortable and offer the best protection and fit. Their more accurate fit offers better speech and breathing also. They can be made in almost any colour.

Over-the-counter guards

Over-the-counter guards are most often found at sporting goods stores. They are typically purchased in a pre-formed shape that can be altered to get a more custom fit. They are usually the ‘boil and bite’ type and are the next best thing to custom fit. When children are growing very rapidly or are losing baby teeth very regularly these can be a good stopgap.

Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to be worn right out of the box. They may be a faster solution, but the downside is that they typically don’t fit very well and offer the minimum protection. Also because of the poor fit, these are more often found in the football sock than in the mouth.


Those who wear traditional fixed braces need to have a sports mouth guard in place before participating in activities that could lead to a direct blow to the face. Not only could a direct blow to the face or mouth lead to injuries, but it could also result in damage to the braces. There are specific gumshields that have a groove in place for the brackets to fit into.

Mouthguards that offer protection for teeth against nighttime grinding are different from the sports guards. These guards are designed to be worn when patients are sleeping. They provide all-night protection to teeth that can suffer from tenderness and fractures that are often seen as side-effects of the grinding. Excessive nighttime grinding is very common and can also lead to tooth sensitivity, limited mouth opening, sore muscles in the face, headaches and poor sleep. Are you avoiding harder foods? Are you constantly aware of your teeth? Do your jaw click, crunch or is it tender when chewing or opening wide?

These all may be signs you need a nightguard. Nightguard appliances not only stop your teeth rubbing off each other when you are asleep they also deprogramme your ligaments and muscles and help to break the habit.

Whether you wear traditional braces or not, individuals who lead an active lifestyle and participate in sports are at an increased risk of sustaining injuries when they are engaged in their favourite sports and activities. A strike or blow to the face may not result in external bruising or abrasions, but even light impact can lead to several serious internal oral injuries.

Cuts to the gums, cheeks and lips or tongue could be possible, along with broken and cracked teeth. It’s also possible to experience a jaw fracture, even from a mild to moderate blow to the face.


Damage to teeth, including chips, fractures and chips, can lead to nerve damage in the teeth and also begin a cycle of tooth restoration ending in costly porcelain crowns.

A sports mouthguard that is well-fitting and worn correctly will protect the whole mouth. The soft tissues will be protected, along with the teeth. Guards can help to minimise against the damage otherwise seen when the lower jaw is driven up and into the upper jaw.

The first step to protecting your teeth with a mouth guard is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, you will be able to discuss your goals for protection. Working with your dentist, you’ll be able to select the right guard and protection solutions for your needs.

Over-the-counter pre-made guards can offer some protection. However, to get complete protection, a professionally made guard is worth the investment.

Whether you are looking to protect your mouth and teeth during the day when you’re active, or you are looking for nighttime protection, you’ll find that your dentist can offer you the solution that will best meet your needs.

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What is a mouthguard?

At Cork City Dentist we strive to provide our patients with a comfortable and professional service. We offer our patients a range of competitively priced dental services and treatments.

Learn more about gum shields, the costs you could expect to face, and whether you could benefit from this dental appliance. Review our pricing chart below. Then call our clinic or book your appointment online to come in for your consultation.

PRSI - Annual Examination (including oral cancer screening)FREE
PRSI - Scale and Polish€15-25
Examination (including oral cancer screening)€40
Scale and Polish€80
Fissure Sealants€25
Hygienist visit€75
Periodontal therapy/treatment of gum disease per visit€80-90
Dental Splint/Nite guard - Light€200
Dental Splint/Nite guard - Heavy Duty€400
Small X-rays€10 each
Panoramic X-ray€80

Get your teeth the protection that they need, with a mouthguard. Whether you grind your teeth at night or take part in high-risk sports, we offer a solution to help protect your teeth. Book your consultation online or call 0214501306 to learn more about mouthguards online.


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    Just finished my one year invisalign journey with Micheal and his team. After he spent a whole hour for free with me explaining invisalign and was really reasonably priced, I knew I would go with him. He is SO kind and gentle, and was really helpful and attentive during my treatment, adjusting things when needed. He also recommended his colleague Dr Russell for composite bonding to finish off my teeth and I'm delighted I did, I'm so happy, I have the smile I've wanted my whole life now. I've recommended Michael to my friends with small kids and they all love him too. 100% recommend this dental practice. Thank you Michael!!!

    Michelle Healy Avatar Michelle Healy
    March 4, 2023

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Sports injuries account for around 1/3 of all dental traumatic injuries in children and adults. A properly fitting mouthguard or gumshield is the best way to avoid or limit the damage. There are in general three types of gumshield 1) stock mouthguards that just have a groove your teeth fit into, 2) boil and chew shields where you soften the product in hot water and then bite into it to mould it to your teeth and 3)custom made gumshields made in a laboratory to an impression of your mouth. 1 and 2 can be bought from most sports shops with number 2, in general, being the better fit. The bite and chew appliance still comes a distant second to the custom fit mouthguard although it might be convenient in periods of rapid growth when a succession of custom fit mouthguards becomes expensive.

    When cleaning your shield use cool water. Remove any obvious debris. A soft bristle brush is essential. If using toothpaste it would ideally be non-abrasive however in general liquid soap would be better. The guard may then be soaked in hydrogen peroxide mouthwash for ten minutes. Alternatively, there are products like retainer brite or fresh guard which will kill all bacteria on the mouthguard. Mouthguards should be stored in a ventilated box which is usually supplied with the gumshield and NOT soaked in the liquid overnight. Heat is the mouthguards enemy so keep away hot water and direct sunlight or artificial heating sources. The dishwasher is also a no-no.

    With stock mouthguards off the shelf, there are no special fitting instructions. This refers to the very basic ones that just have a groove where your teeth sit. These just don’t fit well and are rubbish. If they are exceptionally sore they are usually too small. For the boil and bite, types follow the instructions provided. This mostly involves putting the blank in very hot water for a period and then placing it over your teeth and pushing down, moulding the soft inner layer to the teeth. For the most part, it’s just firm pressure in one direction that is required and its best not to chew. With a dentist-made custom fit gumshield, there should be no ‘breaking in’ required.

    A well-fit mouthguard that covers all your teeth will be too large to choke on. Try to resist the temptation to cut the mouthguard short in a misguided attempt to just protect the front teeth. Not only will this not spread the force of the impact over a large enough area it will also make it more possible for the mouthguard to fit in the throat. If your gumshield is loose enough to fall off your teeth then it doesn’t fit and needs to be replaced.

    Similarly, if the gumshield is broken a smaller bit may come loose and be dangerous. Also physically the mouthguard won’t be operating correctly. Mouthguards cannot usually be repaired. The type of mouthguard used to stop people grinding may be the exception as occasionally they can have some acrylic added.

    Sports gumshields usually cost 100-130euro depending on specifications. Nightguard type shields to protect against grinding damage are 130euro for medium-duty and 300euro for heavy-duty.

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