Health Library

Health Library

Mouth Guards and Dental Emergencies

The importance of mouthguards

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

  • Dislodged or knocked out tooth/teeth

  • Broken or chipped tooth

  • Bitten or lacerated tongue and/or lip

  • Objects caught or lodged between the teeth

  • Jaw fracture

  • Jaw collision. This is when the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw.

Mouth Guards and Dental Emergencies - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Eakle, W. Stephan, DDS
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
© 2014 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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