Reprinted with permission by Sports Dentistry Online
It has been shown that properly fabricated custom made mouthguards by your dentist can reduce the rate of concussion as well as dental and mandibular injuries.
Stenger and others have demonstrated in 1962 the reduction of concussions and head and neck injuries as well as reduction in dental facial injuries when the Notre Dame foothball team wore professionally fabricated custom made mouthguards.
Repeated concussions appear to impart cumulative damage, resulting in increased severity and duration with each incident. Therefore it is imperative to diagnose and deliver proper custom made mouthguards to athletes after an episode of concussion.
In football, the chance of having a second concussion is four times greater than the chance of sustaining a first concussion.
Catastrophic brain swelling may occur following a second minor head injury in individuals who are still symptomatic from a prior concussion.
Facts from the National Youth Sports Foundation
Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports;the majority of these dental injuries are preventable.
More than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year. Many during sports activities.
An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard.
The cost of a fractured tooth is many times greater than the cost of a dentist diagnosed and designed professionally made mouthguard.
Every athlete involved in contact sport has about a 10% chance per season of an orfacial injury, or a 33-56% chance during an athletic career.
The cost to replant a tooth and the follow-up dental treatment is about $5000.
Victims of knocked out teeth who do not have a tooth properly preserved or replanted may face lifetime dental costs of $15,000-$20,000/tooth, hours in the dental chair, and the possible development of other dental problems such as periodontal disease.
It is estimated that faceguards and mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and college football.
The stock mouthguard which is bought at sports stores without any individual fitting, provide only a low level of protection, if any. If the wearer is rendered unconscious, there is a risk the mouthguard may lodge in the throat potentially causing an airway obstruction.
Facts from the American Dental Association and the California Dental Association
A properly fitted mouthguard reduces the chances of sustaining a concussion from a blow to the jaw.
Mouthguards should be worn at all times during competition; in practice as well as in games.
Contact your local dental society and association for information on dentists and mouthguard programs in your area.
The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports:
acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastic, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shotputting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.