Forty percent of all sports injuries involve the face. By wearing a custom fitted athletic mouthguard, athletes can virtually eliminate the risk of tooth loss, while protecting the lips, cheek, tongue, and jaw. Properly fitted mouthguards can also help reduce the risk of head, neck, and brain injury by absorbing and dispersing some of the shock caused by blows to the chin. Considering that the mouth is the most commonly injured part of the body during contact sports, mouthguards should be an essential component in most physical activities.
The American Dental Association and the Academy of Sports Dentistry recommend mouthguards for athletes who participate in:
Several kinds of mouthguards are available to purchase over the counter, including stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards. Many athletes complain that over-the-counter mouthguards are bulky, uncomfortable, and inhibit speech or breathing. These mouthguards do not provide the same level of comfort and protection that a custom-made mouthguard does. Dr. Cannilla can create a thin, flexible mouthguard that is comfortable, odorless, tasteless, and doesn’t interfere with your sports performance.
Research has shown that when training or competing in sports, the natural instinct for most people is to clench their jaw, compressing the temporomandibular joint. This in turn triggers the release of excess amounts of hormones like cortisol, which can lead to stress, fatigue, and distraction. The same holds true for high-stress occupations like fire fighting.