No matter what sport you play, at Dental Health Associates of Madison, we recommend wearing a mouth guard. There are numerous reasons for this and many ways that they can help protect your teeth.
Here are six of the most important reasons to always wear mouth guards when playing sports.
Mouth guards can protect against displacing teeth
Imagine being hit in the mouth by a baseball. There’s no question it could break your tooth but it could also displace it. That is, it could loosen it to the point that it moves easily and requires dental treatment. Mouth guards can help to distribute force over all of your teeth, which keeps a single tooth – or several – from bearing the brunt of a blow.
Mouth guards can protect against injury to the soft tissues
While it’s true that teeth can get damaged when playing sports, it’s also true that the teeth can actually damage the soft tissue of the mouth. For example, a basketball player who gets hit in the face with a ball could inadvertently bite into their lip. This can require stitches and even plastic surgery to repair but it can be avoided by simply wearing a mouth guard – which can also help protect the cheeks and tongue.
Mouth guards can prevent jaw fractures
Anyone who sustains a blow to the head is likely to have their teeth come into contact with one another. When this happens, there isn’t much room for flexibility. However, if a mouth guard is worn, it acts as padding and can actually prevent the jaw from fracturing. Jaw fractures are serious business and can lead to surgery, so doing something simple like wearing a guard is well worth it.
Mouth guards can keep teeth from fracturing
One of the most important things that mouth guards can do is to prevent your teeth from breaking. If you do experience a tooth fracture, it’s likely that you can save it. If it’s fractured on the crown, where you can see it, then we can generally add white filling material to replace the fractured part. If it fractures and the dental pulp is showing, then a root canal will likely be required.
The worst case scenario is one in which the root of the tooth fractures. At DHA we will do everything we can, but it’s possible in these situations that the tooth can’t be saved.
Mouth guards can keep you from knocking out your teeth
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wants to get their teeth knocked out, yet many people don’t wear a mouth guard for their teeth when playing sports. Adults who have an adult tooth knocked out may be able to save it. Bring it to DHA and let us take a look. If a child gets a baby tooth knocked out, then a spacer may be required until the adult tooth grows in.
Mouth guards may help prevent concussions
While there is disagreement on this issue, some say that since mouth guards add padding between the upper and lower rows of teeth, that padding could lessen the force of the jaw as it pushes on the skull near the brain. As a result, the chance of concussion could be lessened.
Dental Health Associates of Madison
When you consider all the reasons, one after another, that mouth guards can help your teeth, it’s easy to see that they should be worn when playing sports, whether professional, for school, or just for fun. If you have any questions about mouth guards or dental health, please contact the friendly professionals at DHA.