Did you know that one in every five dental injuries happen while people are playing sports? That’s why it’s so important to wear a mouthguard when participating in any type of physical activity. A mouthguard is a device that protects your teeth and lips from injury. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of dental problems that can be avoided by using a mouthguard.
What is a mouthguard?
Before looking at the problems that mouthguards can prevent, let’s take a deeper look at what mouthguards are. A mouthguard is a device that covers the teeth and gums to protect them from injury. Mouthguards are made from different materials, such as plastic, rubber, or silicone. They come in various sizes and shapes. Some mouthguards can be purchased over-the-counter, while others need to be custom-made by a dentist.
Mouthguards are important because they can protect your teeth from being chipped, cracked, or knocked out. They can also prevent cuts to your lips, tongue, and cheeks. In some cases, mouthguards can even help to reduce the severity of a concussion.
There are three main types of mouthguards:
– Stock mouthguards: These mouthguards come pre-formed and can be purchased over-the-counter. They are ready to wear, but may not fit well and can be difficult to breathe through.
– Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These mouthguards are made from thermoplastic material. They need to be boiled in water to soften them, and then they are placed in the mouth so that they can mold to the shape of the teeth. These fit better than stock mouthguards, however they are described as being uncomfortable and don’t offer the greatest level of protection.
– Custom-made mouthguards: These mouthguards are made by a dentist to fit your specific dental needs. They provide the best fit and protection, but they are also the most expensive option.
Problems Mouthguards Prevent
Now that we know what mouthguards are, let’s take a look at the different dental problems that they can help to prevent.
Knocked Out Teeth:
One of the most serious dental injuries that can occur is a tooth being knocked out. This usually happens during contact sports, such as football or hockey. Depending on the strength of the blow, a tooth can be partially or completely knocked out of the mouth. In these cases, the affected tooth will usually need to be replaced with a fake tooth. Wearing a mouthguard can help to protect the teeth from this type of injury.
Another common dental injury is chipping a tooth. This can happen if you receive a blow to the mouth. Chipped teeth can be very painful and may require extensive dental work to fix. They can also increase the risk of developing a pulp infection. Wearing a mouthguard can help to prevent this type of injury by cushioning the teeth and absorbing the impact of a blow.
Cuts to the Lips, Tongue, or Cheeks:
Mouthguards can also help to prevent cuts to the lips, tongue, or cheeks. These types of injuries are common in contact sports, such as boxing or martial arts. They can also occur during non-contact sports, such as basketball or skateboarding. Wearing a mouthguard can help to protect the soft tissues of the mouth from being cut.
Mouthguards can also help to reduce the severity of a concussion. A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur after a blow to the head. Wearing a mouthguard can help to reduce the risk of a concussion by absorbing the impact of a blow to the head.
As you can see, there are many dental problems that can be avoided by wearing a mouthguard. If you participate in any type of sport, it is important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums. Custom-made mouthguards offer the best level of protection, but even a stock mouthguard is better than nothing. So make sure to put one on before you hit the field or court!
If you have any questions about mouthguards, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office.
Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services, including emergency dentistry. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.