Tigard Dentist, Dr. Justin Marostica of TenderCare Dental, recently provided mouthguards to a Junior Portland Winterhawks Hockey team. As a dentist in Tigard OR, Dr. Marostica has seen first hand the injuries to teeth from traumatic injuries such as sports related injuries. He knows that many of these injuries could have been prevented or not so traumatic had the person been wearing a mouthguard.
While playing college soccer from Brigham Young University, Dr. Marostica also witnessed many injuries to teammates and opponent’s teeth. “I have seen a soccer player’s teeth get knocked out. Knowing what I know now, had that guy been wearing a mouthguard that wouldn’t of happened”, said Dr. Marostica. It is because of these experiences, Dr. Marostica was excited to provide mouthguards for a Junior Portland Winterhawks Hockey team.
There are many reasons why mouthguards should be worn when playing sports. Dr. Marostica gives 6 reasons why a mouthguard should be worn. First, it will protect against tooth fracture. Probably one of the most common injuries to teeth is a fracture. It is pretty common in sports and also in hockey. If a mouthguard is worn it will help prevent a tooth fracture, but if the blow to the mouth is too severe even a mouthguard might not protect against tooth fracture. However, most of the time the tooth can be saved if the mouthguard is worn.
Second, a mouthguard will protect against tooth displacement. Tooth displacement is when the tooth is bumped in such a way that pushes the tooth out of place. Wearing a mouthguard when the tooth is hit will limit how much the tooth can actually move. Severe displacement can cause a tooth to die which might then require a root canal or extraction.
Third, when a tooth is hit and a mouthguard is worn the mouthguard should absorb most of the impact. Thus the likelihood of knocking a tooth out is minimal. If a permanent tooth is knocked out fortunately they can most often be saved. It is however important that you visit your Tigard Dentist immediately.
Fourth, mouthguards protect against soft tissue injuries. I am sure you know someone that has bitten their lip or tongue. Some might even need stitches to repair the injury. This can be prevented by wearing a mouthguard. The mouthguard will go over the sharp parts of the teeth thus acting like a cushion when a blow to the mouth occurs.
Fifth, now there is not a lot of research in this area, but some scientist report that mouthguards might protect against concussions. The theory is rather simple, but the mouthguard acts like a cushion between the mandible and maxilla so when a blow to the head or chin area much of the force of the blow is absorbed through the mouthguard. Think of a boxer who gets punched with an uppercut. If he doesn’t have his mouthguard in his teeth and maxilla would absorb all the impact. So although there is some skepticism about prevention of a concussion it is still important to wear your mouthguard.
Last mouthguards also protect against jaw fractures. When you sustain a blow to the head and your teeth contact each other, there’s not much room for flexibility. But, if you have a layer of flexible plastic between your teeth, it can act as a padding and save your jaw from fracturing. Jaw fractures often require major surgery (and a steady diet of Jello and soup), so it is likely in your best interest to wear a mouthguard to prevent such an occurrence!
In conclusion I hope that it is apparent how important it is to wear a mouthguard especially when participating in sports. Many traumatic mouth and tooth injuries can be prevented by simply wearing it! If you or someone you know needs a custom mouthguard give your Tigard Dentist, Dr. Justin Marostica of Tigard TenderCare Dental a call at 503-670-7088.