If you play any sort of contact sport, you know that you get hit A LOT, and you can’t always predict where. A very common place to take a hit is in the mouth, and it can have a huge impact on not only your teeth, but also your lips, gums and even your jaw. In fact, about a third of dental injuries are the result of playing contact sports. That’s quite a lot of injuries that could have been avoided with the proper protections in place.
How They Work
You might not think that mouth guards are all that useful when playing a contact sport, but they actually provide very important protection for a pretty weak spot on your body.
Mouthguards work by absorbing the energy of a blow and distributing it across the mouth away from just one spot. When the whole mouth takes the hit together, it prevents the few teeth that were actually hit from being seriously damaged. Mouthguards can also help with impact to other regions of your mouth and your jaw.
Why You Should Always Wear a Mouthguard
They protect your teeth. Of the dental injuries that dentists see, the most common are chipped, dislodged or completely knocked out teeth. This is especially a problem when you have existing dental work, such as crowns, veneers, bridges, braces, etc. Not only can this be a very painful situation, but also it can affect your social life as well. Many patients admit to feeling less confident when their smile has been compromised by an injury, especially when it could have been avoided.
They protect the soft tissues of your mouth. Because mouthguards absorb the shock from a blow to your mouth, this can also protect the softer spots like your lips, gums and even your tongue. This can be especially important if you have braces because the mouthguard will provide a barrier between the sharp brackets and your lips.
They protect your jaw. Not only can mouthguards protect your teeth and the surrounding tissues, but also they can help to cushion your jaw from a blow. It works the same as with the teeth - the shock is absorbed and distributed so that a hit to one region will not knock the jaw out of place.
They protect against concussion. Many don’t know that 95 percent of concussions in football players result from a hard hit to the lower jaw - called the mandible. When the mandible is hit hard enough, it can cause the lower jaw hinge to be forced upward into the temporal bone of the brain. This is obviously a very serious condition, but it can be easily avoided.
Finding the Right Mouthguard for You
The best way to go about finding the mouthguard that is the best fit for you is to talk to Dr. Kaffey. He may tell you that the least expensive option is to buy one from an athletics supply store, but that those don’t tend to fit very well because the sizes and shapes are limited. Dr. Kaffey most likely will recommend that he create a custom mouthguard for the best results for your mouth. While they can be a bit pricier, custom mouthguards fit the best and provide the best protection and comfort.
It’s a much quicker, easier and cheaper visit to see Dr. Kaffey for a mouthguard than for a dental reconstruction. When you visit the office in Lansdale, Dr. Kaffey will discuss the best options for you and he will make sure to provide a device that will keep you safe and healthy while you go out and enjoy the activities you love.