The Dangers of Not Using a Mouthguard
For more than half a century, the American Dental Association has recommended the use of a properly-fitted mouthguard to reduce the risk of oral injury while participating in sports. Although mouthguards do not guarantee someone will not sustain an oral injury, athletes become 60 times more likely to get hurt when not wearing one. Hard hits and flying projectiles can all translate into a nightmare for the teeth and jaw.
A custom-fitted mouthguard, worn over the top teeth, protects the teeth from the surrounding soft tissue, absorbs shock, and stabilizes the jaw during a hit. Consider many risks associated with not wearing a mouth guard, including broken or lost teeth, jaw injuries, lacerated lips and cheeks, and damage to orthodontic appliances.
Broken or Lost Teeth
Teeth, although hard, can break. Playing sports without a proper mouthguard leaves the teeth at risk of taking a hard blow without any cushion. This can cause teeth to crack, fracture, or even fall out completely. A cracked or damaged tooth signifies a severe dental emergency.
Jaw injuries commonly occur in sports. Mouthguards prevent or greatly reduce their seriousness by cushioning the jaw and reducing the amount of shock it takes during a hit. Teeth, designed to chew food, can also do damage to the soft tissues of the mouth when left uncovered. A mouthguard can help protect the mouth from punctures or lacerations.
Damage to Orthodontic Appliances
Braces or other orthodontia present a unique challenge that only a custom-fit mouthguard done at a dentist’s office can address. This type of mouthguard can be made for the upper and lower teeth. It will not only protect the teeth but also prevent the metal wires and brackets from potentially ripping into the soft tissues of the mouth.