Sports Mouthguards and Dental Emergencies
If you have a child or teen involved in community and school sports, you know there’s always a risk of an accidental injury. In fact, you might be the one who’s involved in athletic activities on the weekends, with your own fair share of bumps and bruises.
Even the secondary trauma — what happens after you get hit the first time — can be the most damaging part of the injury. To protect yourself, you invest in the best equipment like helmets, pads, and braces.
But what about your mouth?
Did you know that — statistically speaking — a high percentage of athletic injuries involve the face and mouth? Some of the more common ones include:
• Busted lips/lip lacerations
• Knocked out teeth
• Chipped teeth
• Broken jaws
Unfortunately, most of the severe orofacial injuries wind up in the emergency room. Others leave lingering side-effects, such as concussions or the need for complex dental care (which isn’t available in the hospital.)
To lower your risk of an oral injury or concussion, it’s best to wear a protective sports mouthguards. Professionally made dental athletic guards offer the highest level of protection when it comes to hugging your teeth, buffering your lips, and even preventing the trauma that causes some types of concussions.
Over-the-counter sports guards on the other hand, are usually a “boil and bite” design, or a one size tray. They tend to fit more loosely and can fall out easier. If you get hit in the mouth, the sports guard could come out before you wind up hitting the ground. Only a professionally fitted guard is designed to stay in place. How? Because it fits like a glove.
Do Mouthguards Really Help with Concussions?
Some types of concussions are caused by the posterior portion of your mandible (lower jaw) being forced back and upwards towards the brain. When this trauma happens, it can cause brain movement, similar to hitting your head from the outside.
But when you wear a special type of mouthguard designed for concussion protection, it lowers your chances of your mandible from radiating trauma up into your brain.
For this reason alone, investing in a custom sports guards is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself or your favorite athlete.
Avoid Broken and Knocked-Out Teeth
As always, mouthguards also protect teeth from getting knocked out or broken if there’s a blow to the mouth. The thick acrylic distributes the pressure and has enough width between the source of trauma and your tooth, that a fracture is less likely to occur.
And since busted lips are usually worse when the skin is pushed into your teeth, having a protective barrier between them can lower the severity of facial lacerations.
Getting a Custom Sports Guard
All you need to have an athletic guard made is to get an impression of your teeth. Most dentists can customize your appliance to match your team colors, too.
For more information on concussion protection and athletic mouthguards, visit a Kois dentist today!