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Mouthguards and Dental Emergencies

The importance of mouthguards

A mouthguard is usually a flexible piece of plastic that fits into the mouth. It should be worn during all recreational and athletic activities to protect the mouth and teeth from serious injury. It should especially be worn during activities where there may be contact with another person, piece of equipment, or the ground. In particular, mouthguards should be worn during these sports:

  • Football

  • Basketball

  • Soccer

  • Rugby

  • Wrestling

  • Baseball

  • Softball

  • Lacrosse

  • Field hockey

  • Ice hockey

  • Martial arts

  • Boxing

Some of these sports require the use of a mouthguard at the amateur level.

Many recreational activities, such as skateboarding and bicycling, also pose a risk of injuring the mouth and teeth. Use caution during these activities.

Mouthguards and preventable injuries

Injuries to the teeth, mouth, and head may include the following, many of which could be prevented with correct and regular use of a mouthguard:

  • Dislodged or knocked out teeth

  • Broken or chipped tooth

  • Bitten or lacerated tongue or lip

  • Objects caught or lodged between the teeth

  • Jaw fracture

  • Jaw collision, when the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw

Online Medical Reviewer: Eakle, W. Stephan, DDS
Online Medical Reviewer: Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Kapner, Michael, DDS
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2018
© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.