While no one expects to get hurt playing sports, injuries to the mouth are more common than you might think. Wearing a properly designed athletic sport mouth guard can prevent a significant number of incidents from ever occurring in the first place. This is especially true when we are talking about an extreme contact sport such as football, hockey or boxing. Even lesser commonly thought of “contact” sports like soccer and basketball or even bicycling, skateboarding or even horseback riding for that matter, can also produce their share of dental trauma.
Each year, between 13-39% of all dental trauma injuries are related to or happen during playing sports. Different types of sports require different reinforcement in different areas of the sport guard mouthpiece. In other words, the design of the mouthguard can determine how well it will work for a specific purpose.
While there are some online or store-bought “Boil and Bite” types of generic mouthguards which offer convenience and a lower cost, they can in some cases provide very little of the desired effect. Due to them either being too bulky, too soft, not provide proper breathing access, be compatible with braces, or last very long – a professionally designed and custom-fitted mouthguard as provided by Dr Avi Israeli CAN protect your teeth and jaws correctly.
A properly designed mouthguard will be designed to meet the specific needs of that sport. For example, common mouth injuries from basketball include an elbow impacting the lower jaw or knocking a tooth loose. The impact from a fall off a horse could require a guard that can withstand the impact of the lower teeth forcefully pushing into the upper teeth.
The inside of the mouthguard, in addition to absorbing the blow, must have some recuperative forces and support to prevent pushing that force throughout the jaw.
Benefits of a Sports Mouthguard
In some sports, such as boxing or more impact sports, wearing a mouthguard has been shown to give extra performance confidence, than when NOT wearing a mouthguard.
The majority of injuries that happen during high school and college CAN be prevented by wearing a proper-fitting appliance. It is estimated that as many of 200,000 injuries in which a student was wearing a protective appliance- no trauma to the mouth resulted in permanent damage. One third of all dental injuries in general are sports related.
A lost or fractured tooth can cost several thousands of dollars over a lifetime of root canals, crowns, bridges, or implants. Many of these could have been prevented wearing the proper gear. A properly fitted appliance that offers protection from a forceful blunt trauma can prevent concussion as well as dental injury.
Who should be wearing a custom sports mouthguard?
The following sports have been included in the list of sports the American Dental Association suggest could benefit from wearing custom guards. Acrobatics, basketball boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, mountain biking, racquetball, rollerblading, roller hockey, rugby, shot-putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weight lighting, and wrestling.
Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury in sporting activities. Of the different types of injuries in the facial area, a concussion can have some of the more serious repercussions long-term resultant from being knocked unconscious.
These types of appliances are DIFFERENT from those that you might need for snoring or grinding your teeth at night. They have different functions and support the teeth in different manners.