Sports injuries and trauma contribute to the avulsion (displacement) of more than 5 million teeth each year. While there’s obvious injury to the teeth, a blow to the chin can result in trauma to the skull as well, leading to concussion. Both cases can be attributed to the absence or the improper fit of a mouthguard. Overall, athletes, parents, and even coaches, are largely uninformed about the consequences of athletic injuries, and the preventative power of mouthguards.
Benefits of Athletic Mouthguards
Acting as a buffer between the soft tissues (lips and cheeks) and teeth, mouthguards can prevent bruising and laceration during impact. This reduces the stress on the front and surrounding teeth, thus reabsorbing the “shock energy” from a hard frontal blow. In a sense, these guards redistribute the brunt of impact, protecting teeth from shifting or breaking. In addition, this protects opposing and adjacent teeth from contact with each other.
While mouthguards protect the integrity of teeth and their positioning, there are several other benefits you may not be aware of. Mouthguards provide solid support to the lower jaw (mandible). This is important for two reasons. First, it can prevent fracture to the jaw. Second, it can prevent trauma to the lower base of the skull (concussion).
There’s even a psychological component to wearing athletic mouthguards. With greater protection, athletes are said to be more aggressive and confident when they perform.
Types of Athletic Mouthguards
Because the word “mouthguard” is generic, many assume that an over the counter one is sufficient. This is not the case. Injuries sustained in contact sports can differ, depending on the type of sport. For instance, a basketball player is more susceptible to an elbow jab in the mouth or jaw. A baseball player is more likely to sustain a blow to the mouth or face with a baseball. A custom, sports-specific mouthguard is important in protecting and preventing costly and serious injuries to the teeth or skull.
Grateful Dental proudly supports local athletes and welcomes you to our office. With a focus on prevention, we provide high quality dental care that will maintain your beautiful smile and fit your lifestyle and needs. Call us today to schedule your appointment.