How Sports Mouth Guards Work to Save Your Smile

Athlete wearing sports mouth guard Ann Arbor dentists

Wearing a sports mouth guard might feel bulky at times but it’s much more preferable to dealing with a dental emergency, like a knocked-out tooth, in the middle of a game. That’s why our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists offer custom mouth guards that you or your child can put in place to cushion your teeth and prevent unwanted oral injuries.

Here’s how a sports mouth guard functions and why having one is beneficial.

The Anatomy of a Sports Mouth Guard

Sports mouth guards are specialized oral appliances designed to provide protection for athletes during physical activities, namely contact sports. These essential pieces of equipment are carefully engineered to withstand the impact and pressure exerted during sports, ensuring that your teeth and oral structures remain safe.

The basic structure of a sports mouth guard consists of multiple layers, each serving a specific purpose. The outermost layer is designed to resist abrasions and impacts, whereas the inner layers are constructed to absorb and disperse forces, which are vital for preventing dental injuries. This layered design ensures that the mouth guard not only remains durable but also effectively keeps your teeth and oral tissues from sustaining damage.

Preventing Soft Tissue Injuries

One of the lesser-known but equally important functions of sports mouth guards is their ability to prevent soft tissue injuries. That’s right, beyond safeguarding your teeth, these oral appliances also provide vital cushioning and protection for the lips, cheeks, and tongue.

When engaged in intense physical activities, accidental blows or collisions can lead to painful cuts, bruises, and lacerations inside the mouth. However, a well-fitted mouth guard acts as a barrier, reducing the risk of such injuries.

Additionally, mouth guards play a crucial role in preventing tongue injuries. During moments of impact or sudden jolts, individuals may involuntarily bite down on their tongues. This can result in painful tongue injuries that can take a significant amount of time to heal.

A properly designed mouth guard can help mitigate this risk by providing a barrier between the teeth and the tongue, reducing the chances of accidental bites. By effectively protecting both teeth and soft tissues, sports mouth guards work to keep athletes safe and comfortable during their sporting endeavors.

Custom vs. Stock Mouth Guards

When it comes to choosing a sports mouth guard, one important decision athletes face is whether to go for a custom-made mouth guard from our dentists or opt for a stock mouth guard available off the shelf.

While store-bought mouth guards are tempting due to their cheaper prices, they might not always last you as long or fit quite as you’d like them to. This is because they’re made for the mass market and not you specifically. On the other hand, mouth guards created by our dentists are designed for your teeth using digital impressions which means the device will be the most comfortable for you and you only.

Other advantages of custom mouth guards include:

  • Improved speech and breathing: Their customized fit ensures that they don’t interfere with your ability to speak or breathe properly during sports activities.
  • Optimal protection: Custom mouth guards provide the highest level of protection because they fit snugly and securely over your teeth, minimizing the risk of displacement during impact.

Need a Mouth Guard?

If you’re searching for the perfect sports mouth guard for the upcoming season, our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, have got you covered. Simply call Liberty Dental today at (734) 994-0909 to request an appointment and we’ll take impressions before sending those off for fabrication.