The Oral Health Foundation advises that mouthguards should be worn at all times while participating in any sport that involves physical contact or moving objects1.
Participating in sporting activities greatly increases your risk of dental and orofacial trauma. During a single season of play, athletes have a 10% chance of sustaining an injury to the face or mouth2. However, extensive research shows that wearing a mouthguard significantly reduces the risk of dental and orofacial injury3. As well as reducing oral injuries, mouthguards act to retain any fractured or loosened teeth thus preventing their loss, inhalation or ingestion, and they have also been shown to reduce the risk of concussion4, though this is under some debate.
There are four basic types of mouthguards: stock, boil-and-bite, custom-made vacuum-formed and custom-made pressure-formed, and they do not provide equal levels of protection. Research shows that custom-made mouthguards offer the best protection against dental and orofacial injury5, with pressure-formed mouthguards providing the greatest security6. As well as superior safety, custom-made mouthguards also show better retention and comfort compared to other types of mouthguards.
However, even custom-made sports mouthguards can differ in how effective they are. For the greatest protection, a custom-made pressure-formed mouthguard of sufficient thickness and rigidity is required7. Stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards are not tight-fitting enough and do not have adequate thickness in all areas, often lacking in thickness in the areas that it is needed most.
Dr Pippa offers top quality custom-made sports mouthguards for the amateur player to the professional athlete. For best protection, a high impact custom-made pressure-formed mouthguard of 5mm thick is recommended. However, should you wish for a more cost-effective option, custom-made vacuum-formed 4mm mouthguards are also available. All sports mouthguards are available in a variety of different colours and designs.
1. Oral Health Foundation Website. Available at: https://www.dentalhealth.org (last accessed April 2021).
2. Andreasen JO, Ravn JJ. Epidemiology of traumatic dental injuries to primary and permanent teeth in a Danish population sample. Int J Oral Surg. 1972;1:235–239.
3. Knapik JJ, Marshall SW, Lee RB, Darakjy SS, Jones SB, Mitchener TA, delaCruz GG, Jones BH. Mouthguards in sport activities: history, physical properties and injury prevention effectiveness. Sports Med. 2007;37(2):117-44.
4. Winters J, DeMont R. Role of mouthguards in reducing mild traumatic brain injury/concussion incidence in high school football athletes. Gen Dent 2014; 62: 34–38
5. Scott J, Burke FJ, Watts DC. A review of dental injuries and the use of mouthguards in contact team sports. Br Dent J. 1994;176(8):310–4.
6. Dhillon BS, Sood N, Sood N, Sah N, Arora D, Mahendra A. Guarding the precious smile: incidence and prevention of injury in sports: a review. J Int Oral Health. 2014;6(4):104-107.
7. Hoffmann J, Alfter G, Rudolph NK, et al. Experimental comparative study of various mouthguards. Endod Dent Traumatol. 1999;15:157–63.
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