Training Time: Mouthguards

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Training Time with Max Benton

Max Benton is the Cavaliers Athletic Trainer and tends to the immediate medical needs of the team’s players. Most of his duties center around preventative medicine, treatment, and rehabilitation.

This information should not be used as diagnosis of a particular condition and is intended only to be informative. If you are experiencing symptoms of any kind, please consult a doctor.

DENTAL INJURIES AND MOUTHGUARDS:

Athletes of any age should be aware of the possibility of an injury to the mouth. Dental injuries are one of the most common types of preventable injuries and people can significantly reduce their risk for injury with a mouthguard.

WHAT ARE THEY?

Dental injuries are any kind of blow or fall to the mouth area that damages the teeth, lips, tongue, and jaw.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Participating in an athletic event, more specifically in contact sports, such as football, soccer, boxing, wrestling, and hockey.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Laceration of the tongue, lips, and cheeks; broken or missing teeth; and possible jaw fractures.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS?

If you don’t wear a mouthguard and suffer an injury to the mouth, please consult a doctor.

Preventatively, wearing a mouthguard decreases your chances for a mouth injury. A mouthguard is a protective device that fits inside the mouth to protect the teeth. The most common type of mouthguard fits on the top teeth, and the bottom teeth are protected when the guard overlaps them.

The specific advantages of a mouthguard include the following:

  • Prevention of the mouth’s soft tissue (lips, tongue, cheeks) from being cut
  • Reduction of the risk to the maxillary teeth by 90% and damage to the posterior teeth
  • Lessening of the risk of a jaw fracture or concussion by absorbing the impact from a blow or impact

    The different types of mouthguards are the following:

  • Stock mouthguards: widely available in sports stores, this kind is produced only in a few sizes; they interfere with breathing and speech; there is too much variety in people dentitions for mass-produced mouthguards to fit a majority of the people
  • Mouth-formed mouthguards: widely available in sports stores; an upgrade over the stock mouthguards, they are a piece of plastic that can be molded to fit your mouth by boiling in water
  • Custom-made mouthguards: made from a cast mold of your mouth; offer best protection and are generally more expensive than ones found in sports stores; cushion the back teeth, which aides in preventing jaw fractures and concussions

    If you own a mouthguard, make sure to keep it in its original container, rinse often, and wash with soap and water or mouthwash.