What is a mouth guard?

A mouth guard is a thick, often spongy shield that fits over your teeth. Mouth guards are usually worn during sports and other activities that involve a high risk of impact to the face. They can be helpful outside of sports too. For instance, you might need to use a specialist mouth guard for jaw issues or teeth grinding. Dentists sometimes use special types of mouth guards to help treat snoring or sleep apnoea as well.

At Beach Smile Dental in Redondo Beach we have a passion for sport, whether it’s playing soccer, baseball, beach volleyball, surfing, skateboarding or cycling on a long, open road. There’s a thrill that appeals to sport lovers, but the spills can be devastating. Whether it’s a collision on the field, a tumble on a street or equipment failure – the risk of contact to the face and teeth is an ever-present danger. To minimize this risk, it’s a good idea to wear a mouth guard.

What are the risk factors when playing sport?

An injury can result in a loss of one or more teeth, broken or chipped teeth, jaw fractures or injuries to the soft tissue of the mouth. Dental trauma can also include damage to the gums and lips.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), about one-third of traumatic injuries to teeth are sports-related. Sports Medicine Association America suggests that 50% of children experience some form of dental injury.

The good news is that injuries can often be prevented by using a custom-fitted mouth guard every time you play or train.

How can a mouth guard help?

When there’s direct impact to the lower part of your face, the force can travel through your jaw, teeth and even the upper part of your skull. This can increase the risk of injuries like front teeth fractures and even concussions. Blows to your lower jaw might cause the jaws to slam together and damage both rows of teeth.

Mouth guards act as a buffer for these kinds of impact. The spongy material helps to absorb the shock and lessen the force applied to your teeth, jaws or skull.
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