Did you know that among the top 10 most popular sports in America, the majority are contact sports? That’s right, the country’s most beloved NFL, NBA, NHL, etc. are contact sports.
Participants in contact sports have a 10% higher risk of sustaining an injury in a single game and a 50% higher chance of getting hurt during their career compared to non-contact sport participants. And most of these injuries are dental injuries.
As a precaution against periodontal injuries, the use of mouthguards during contact sports became mandatory in the US at high school as well as college levels in 1962 and later in 1974. When the mouthguard requirement was imposed, the injury rate to the face and mouth was cut from 50% to around less than 0·5%. Thus, wearing a mouthguard can forestall expensive dental procedures.
Before getting into details about the benefits of wearing a mouthguard for contact sports, let's see what exactly a mouthguard is:
As per the definition by J. Hoffman, et al. a mouthguard is an appliance or device placed inside the mouth to reduce oral injuries, especially to the teeth and their surroundings including arches, lips, and gums. Simply put, a mouthguard is a dental device used to cover or protect your teeth.
There are three major types of mouthguards used in contact sports:
1. Prevention of Dentoalveolar Injuries
Contact sports usually use custom-fabricated mouthguards that act as a buffer to absorb the impact to teeth and gums and thereby decrease the intensity of injuries.
2. Protection of Lower Jaws
A mouthguard consists of a mandible that is elastic in nature that can prevent dislocation and disfiguration of the lower jaw.
3. Decreases the Chances of Concussion
Intense sports are very likely to cause neurological injuries. The mouthguards act as a shock absorber, thereby reducing the chances of a concussion.
Preventing lacerations, protecting teeth, tongue and mouth disfigurement, etc. are a few other benefits of using a mouthguard. Injuries during intense sports are unavoidable. But you can lessen the intensity of these injuries.
Remember, safety first, always!
If you require a mouthguard or have any doubts regarding the device, book an appointment with Dr. Judex Ramirez at Healthy Smile Dental Care in 3412 W 84th St #110, Hialeah, FL 33018 by calling us on (786) 345-2040.