Dental injuries are common during physical activities and sports like football, baseball, softball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, and more. Loretto Family Dentistry has a wide array of sports mouthguards that can save you from having to deal with a chipped tooth, busted lips, bleeding gums, or something even worse.
Tooth fractures, intrusion or extrusion, and avulsion are some of the most common sports-related dental injuries players experience. Dental fractures can range from simple chips in the tooth’s enamel to breaks that involve dentin of a tooth, which can result in infection and abscesses. A dental intrusion is when an impact to the mouth pushes a tooth into the alveolar bone.
A dental extrusion occurs when a tooth is knocked out from its socket. Taking a hit to the mouth can also result in a temporomandibular joint dislocation (TJD). A TJD is an excruciating condition where the ball-and-socket joint located just in front of the lower part of the ear gets displaced.
What Are Sports Mouthguards?
Dental studies show that properly fitted sports mouthguards can help reduce sports-related dental trauma. Sports mouthguards are protective coverings worn over lower or upper teeth or both. These devices are designed to protect athletes who play contact sports or anyone involved in any activity that increases the risk of injury outside and inside the mouth.
Sports mouthguards have been around since the 1800s and look like a dental tray. Mouthguards used in sports are designed to act as oral and dental shock absorbers. A powerful shockwave always accompanies a hit to the face. These protective devices take the majority of the force that comes with a facial impact from a ball, fall or even another player, and blocks or minimizes its potentially damaging effects. Without this buffer, the shockwave has unrestricted access to pass freely onto and through the teeth, jaw or skull.
Both children and adults should wear sports mouthguards when involved in any contact sport. These devices should be very comfortable and secure in your mouth. They should also not restrict your ability to talk or breathe properly.
Different Types of Sports Mouthguards
Stock, boil-and-bite, and custom-made devices are the three main types of sports mouthguards. In terms of cost, stock mouthguards are the least expensive. However, what you save in price, you may end up paying for in discomfort. Stock mouthguards are bulky and move around the mouth. You need to bite them to keep them in place, which messes up how you breathe and talk.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards first go into boiling water before being placed in the mouth. The heat enables the material to mold to the teeth. For this reason, they offer better support than stock devices. They are the most commonly used mouthguards and are also not too pricey. Custom-made devices provide the best comfort as they are made specifically for your teeth. You can breathe and talk with ease, and they are secure in your mouth.
Even though we can now repair almost any tooth injury sustained while playing a sport, nothing will ever be as good as your natural teeth. So before your next sports encounter be sure to call Loretto Family Dentistry at (940) 287-3535. Our dental professionals can help you choose the right mouth protector based on the sports you play.