A well fitted mouth guard will minimize the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the mouth area by cushioning impacts to the face.
Since its invention in 1890 by a London dentist name Woolf Krause, one of the most commonly held myths around mouth guards in sports medicine is the premise that they prevent concussions. This claim has never been supported by scientific evidence nor supported in a scientific review.
Mouth guards were originally developed as a means of dental protection for boxers. Since injuries like lip lacerations and broken teeth were a common and disabling aspect of the sport in that era, mouth guards rapidly became a stapple in boxing equipment.
While contact sports like boxing are hish risk sports for the mouth, any athlete participating in organized or other recreational sports may experience a dental injury and should protect their teeth as well.
In most situations, the top teeth absorb the brunt of the impact trauma because of their more forward prosition in the mouth. Wearing a mouth guard that covers the upper teeth is a great way to protect the soft tissues of your lips, tongue and mouth lining.
In boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts, frontal protection is very important. Despite the use of headgear, additional protection such as mouth guards are required to protect against upper and lower jaw collisions. For optimal protection, we recommend a mouth guard that features added frontal protection to further absorb direct impact to the mouth.
Since athletes in football, lacrosse and ice hockey, get facial protection in the form of facemasks, cages or full shields attached to their helmets, they do not need to wear bulky mouth guards. In fact, many prefer wearing mouth guards with a thin frontal profil and added material under the molars.
The added material under the molars acts as a shock absorber by dispersing the impact energy before it is transmitted to the jaw and teeth, protecting the mouth from serious injury.
To learn more about different types of mouth guards, please visit our section entitled "Types of Mouthguards".