The types of dental injuries that can occur without the use of a mouth guard are chipped or broken teeth, fractured crowns or bridgework, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth, fractured jaws, and concussions. Any athlete may be at risk for oral injury, although most oral injuries can be prevented with properly fitting protection.
Mouth guards are mandatory in most collision sports such as football, hockey and boxing where the risk of injury is likely. Children and adults involved in incidental contact sports like basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer and volleyball may consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent injuries to the mouth.
A study of high school athletes found that seventy-five per cent of injuries occurred when mouth guards were not worn and forty per cent occurred during baseball and basketball. Nine per cent of all athletes suffered some type of oral injury while another three per cent reported a loss of consciousness. Trauma-related to sports is more prevalent than previously reported.2
Child or adult, a mouth guard is essential for all athletes. For more information about the right mouth guard for you, consult your dental professional.
2 McNutt T, Shannon SW Jr, Wright, JT, Feinstein, RA. Oral Trauma in Adolescent Athletes: A Study of Mouth Protectors. Pediatr Dent 1989;11:209-13.