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Benefits of wearing a mouth guard for contact sports

Posted By  
18:00 PM

Preventing dental damage during contact sports is possible by wearing mouth guards. They offer the much-needed support to the mouth/teeth when engaging in sports where there is a high risk of damage or trauma to the oral region. They are usually worn as a protective covering over the teeth and reduce the impact felt by accidents or injuries while playing different contact sports. For this reason, mouth guards are highly recommended by dentists to prevent damage.


Studies have shown that a higher percentage of injuries during contact sports happen to the jaw and face. Wearing mouth guards for contact sports be it for high intensity or low intensity offers the much-needed defence to the oral region. This should be used by children and adults alike when they are engaging in sports like football, rugby, underwater polo, ice hockey, martial arts, skateboarding and boxing. This list is not exhaustive and mouth guards can be used in any sports and games where the players come in physical contact with others. These sports require wearing protective gear like helmets, and googles, and to protect the oral region mouth guards are important.



Guard against dental injury

The main purpose of recommending wearing mouth guards during contact sports is to prevent dental injuries. When players participate in contact sports, be it hockey or boxing or any other sports the total pressure of a fall or experiencing a blow to the face the impact is highly felt in the face and mouth region. When mouth guards are worn, the impact of the blow is reduced. The mouth guards will cushion the effect of the blows and the oral region does not have to endure the full pressure. A blow to the face can chip the tooth or break the enamel, and crack or loosen the teeth. This dental concern can be lessened to a large extent by wearing mouth guards.



Guard against injury to lips and cheeks

During contact sports, if the oral region is experiencing the impact of the blow, then there are high chances of the lips and cheeks also being injured. Besides being injured by the blow to the face, lips and cheeks are soft tissues and they can be injured if the teeth are pushed from their position and cut into these tissues. They can experience cuts and bleeding due to this impact. If the injury is severe, it might require more medical attention such as stitches to the area and might also require more cosmetic medical support if there is scarring. These issues can be dulled if mouth guards are used as the cushion in the mouth guards will help to push away the force outside of the mouth.



Guard against physical strain

In certain sports like weight lifting or intense physical exercise, many clench their teeth or grind them to endure the strain their body is feeling. The teeth grinding can lead to wear and tear in the teeth and gums. Due to the pressure applied to the teeth, the teeth will get flattened or even cracked and it is important to protect the teeth. If mouth guards are used during intense exercise, the cushion effect is provided and the person can endure the high intensity physical strain but not cause more damage to the teeth. Many people who participate in sports which require high physical body strain and have this habit of teeth clenching often use mouth guards to protect their teeth.



Guard against fractures and bone damage

Another significant damage that can happen during contact sports is jaw fracture and bone damage. When the face comes in contact with intense force during sports, the pressure will also be felt by the neck and the jaw region. The pressure can force injury on the neck region and can even result in damage to the neck muscles and fracture. When mouth guards are used, the pressure is reduced immensely and the potential jaw displacement and neck injury. In this particular case, the lower jaw and neck region are offered protection by the mouth guards.



Guard against brain injury

There is a lot of potential damage while engaging in contact sports and one such injury is to the brain. When there is a tremendous force applied to the face and neck region due to injury during contact sports, the impact on the brain is reduced by the cushion effect. The injury or concussion to the brain is reduced to a great extent by the cushioning effect of the guards by reducing the force felt at the base of the skull. The shock that is experienced in the face and oral region is reduced and there will be less force experienced by this area. There are however many studies done in this area to find more evidence for this aspect.



Reduce the need for potential dental treatment

Those who engage in contact sports would have experienced trauma to their body and especially their face and mouth more than once. If a person does not wear mouth guards, then there are chances of future injuries to the mouth. This can lead to loss of teeth, chipped teeth, fracture, and broken enamel and so on. To set right these dental concerns, there is a need to go for dental consultations and decide if dental veneers, dental crowns or dental implants are needed. When a person starts wearing mouth guards, the chances of going for dental treatments are reduced and their money and oral health can be saved.




There are different types of mouth guards that one can choose from. Some can be bought over the counter (boil and bite) or custom-made ones. Depending on one's need and guidance from a dentist they can be chosen. Contact sports injuries are quite common and there is always help available from the emergency dentist if need be. Emergence dentists will help provide support at the right time and help save the problem from escalating.