While playing sports come with a wide variety of benefits, nothing can sideline an aspiring athlete quite like a dental injury. Painful and costly, trauma to the mouth can cause lasting and permanent damage to your smile. Participants in high-impact sports such as football, basketball, martial arts, and even weightlifting have an elevated risk of damaging their teeth from their favorite sport, but athletic mouth guards can reduce that risk multifold; the dangers of sustaining a severe dental injury is almost doubled without the aid of a mouthguard in place. Having your mouth professionally fitted for a mouth guard by us here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry can help preserve your teeth and prevent unwanted damage from your teeth from occurring in the first place.
Understanding the Risks of Participating in Sports without a Mouthguard
We cannot stress enough the importance of getting fitted properly with a sports mouthguard. Different from a night mouthguard, a well-fitting sports mouthguard will thoroughly cover the upper teeth, acting as insulation against impact injuries. Mouthguards also prevent lacerations and cuts to the mouth. Furthermore, it can also help to aid in the prevention of dislocating or breaking your jaw and even act as an extra measure against concussion. With all the dangers of practicing sport without a mouthguard, there is no reason to elect not to use one.
There are four primary types of dental injuries that an athlete might sustain during their sport:
|Fractures. Fractures occur when you chip, shatter, or otherwise break your tooth.
|Avulsion. When your tooth is completely knocked out of the socket, this is known as avulsion.
|Intrusion. Try not to flinch, but sometimes your tooth can get shoved up into your gums which is known as intrusion.
|Luxation. Luxation happens when your tooth gets contorted or twisted in its socket but does not get entirely dislodged.
There are several different types of mouthguards that you can choose from when selecting one for your particular sport. While there are cheap and easy ones that you can simply buy at any sporting goods store, you get what you pay for. Choosing a higher quality mouthguard will act as a better buffer to your mouth against injury.
Stock mouthguards are the generic ones that you can buy at any store. While they’re easily obtained and inexpensive, you get what you pay for. They offer inferior protection against injury and because they’re not custom-fitted, can be bulky and unwieldy. Because of how cumbersome they are, they can negatively impact athletic performance by obstructing and impairing breathing.
Boil mouthguards are better than stock mouthguards in many ways because they do allow a minimum of custom fitting. You still buy these at big-box or sporting goods stores, but before you use them, you soften them up by boiling them. Then you put them in your mouth and bite into them, offering a quasi-custom fit.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are, without a doubt, the best kind you can get for your sport. We will fit you with this one, allowing it to mold and fit the contour and shape of your mouth. These provide superior protection against sports-related dental injuries and are an excellent investment in preserving your teeth.
There are many misconceptions about mouth guards and many people erroneously elect not to use them, thinking that they are excessive or might be uncomfortable. A well-fitting mouthguard is unobtrusive and provides superior protection against any sports injuries. If you play any sports, give us a call here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry at (908) 647-4441 to be fitted for a custom mouthguard. Your teeth will thank you!