Custom Fitted Mouthguard Helps Reduce Concussion Risk for NFL, High School, and Collegiate Athletes

The Chandler dentist knows that when a sports player gets a solid hit to the head or experiences a jolt that produces a whiplash effect, the player may end up with a concussion.  A properly fitting mouth guard will help to prevent this.  By creating a stable relationship between the jaw and the skull at the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), the appliance helps dissipate the force. This ‘shock absorber’ will help prevent neurological damage when the jaw slams into the skull. TMJ cutaway Sports Dentistry Mouthguard

Concussions have been an ever-increasing concern in sports. Long-range, they have been linked to memory impairment, emotional instability, and erratic behavior. Therefore, in many sports, properly fitting mouthguards are considered essential. Mouthguards should be worn while playing and training for any sport involving contact to the face. The American Dental Association recommends wearing a custom sports mouthguard for the protection of traumatic tooth injury for the following sports in addition to football: acrobatics, basketball, field hockey, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

The American Dental Association estimates that mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries yearly in high school and collegiate football. Younger athletes are more susceptible to concussions than NFL players. This is because a young person is still developing, and while experiencing a final growth spurt, the head, teeth, and neck are not yet perfectly aligned. Repeated concussions impart cumulative damage resulting in increased severity and duration with each incident. The chance of having a second concussion is four times greater than the chance of sustaining a first concussion.

Therefore, diagnosing and delivering proper custom-made mouthguards to athletes when they begin a sport is imperative. Mouthguards should be worn at all times during competition and practice. The stock mouthguard, which parents can buy at sports stores without individual fitting, provides only a low level of protection, if any. If the wearer is rendered unconscious, there is a risk the mouthguard may lodge in the throat, potentially causing airway obstruction.

Custom-made mouthguards designed by a qualified sports dentist are the most satisfactory mouth protectors. They fulfill all the criteria for a material’s adaptation, retention, comfort, and stability. They interfere the least with speaking and have virtually no effect on breathing.

Dental mouthguards have long been used to protect teeth, gums, and supporting tissues from damage, injury, and trauma.

For more information on sports dentistry, see:

Kelly Jorn Cook, DDS
3800 W. Ray Rd, Ste 19
Chandler, AZ 85226
Tel: (480) 899-4477