If you’re an athlete, you probably already use various types of protective gear to keep you safe from injuries. Is a mouthguard part of that protective gear?
While the American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard for any contact sport and for many limited-contact sports, the National Federation of State High School Associations only mandates them for a few sports in their purview (football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling).
Whether or not you are required to wear a mouthguard for your sport, the team at American Dental encourages you to do so anyway. Here are some reasons why we recommend mouthguards for all sports, whether professional, collegiate, high school, or just for fun:
Mouthguards Protect Teeth From Chips And Fractures
Any time you make contact with another player, your teeth can gnash together and potentially become chipped or fractured. Tooth chipping, in addition to affecting the aesthetics of your smile, can be painful and lead to other issues in the future. Tooth fractures are very serious and can result in you losing your tooth if they are not dealt with immediately.
A Mouthguard Reduces The Risk Of Teeth Being Knocked Out
Every athlete knows the risk of getting teeth knocked out during practice or play. When a tooth is knocked out, if it can’t be replaced immediately, you could lose it forever. The trauma of a tooth being knocked out can also cause significant bleeding and damage to the gums or tooth roots.
Mouthguards Protect You From Root Damage
Any time your teeth take an impact, it can potentially injure the delicate root tissue. Over time, this can cause the root (and eventually the tooth above it) to die. A dead tooth not only looks bad, it can also spread dangerous bacteria to other teeth, to the gums, or into the bloodstream.
A Mouthguard Protects Your Soft Tissues From Injury
If you have ever bitten your tongue, you know how painful it can be. If you don’t wear a mouthguard, you can potentially bite your tongue or lips during aggressive play. It’s even possible you could bite your tongue off or bite through the lip, requiring reconstructive surgery to repair.
Wearing A Mouthguard May Prevent Concussions
Although there is some debate about the topic, many in the sports medicine field believe that the jaw support provided by a mouthguard can help to prevent concussions. With evidence mounting that concussions can cause serious long-term mental health issues, we believe athletes should take every precaution they can to prevent them.
Emergency Dentistry In Chicagoland
While wearing a mouthguard will significantly reduce your risk of injuries to the teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth, anything can happen out there on the field of play. If you have been injured and need an emergency dentist in Midway or any other Chicago area community, get in touch with American Dental immediately. We offer emergency dentistry services, so call (773) 897-3218 if you have a dental emergency or schedule an appointment online at any one of our 8 locations for less pressing matters.