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J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Dec;137(12):1712-20; quiz 1731.

Using mouthguards to reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related oral injuries.



This report reviews the available literature on the types and properties of athletic mouthguards, current fabrication methods and the role of mouth protectors in reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related oral injuries.


For more than 50 years, the American Dental Association has promoted the protective value of wearing properly fitted mouthguards while participating in athletic or recreational activities that carry a risk of dental injury. Safety is essential to maintaining oral health, and a properly fitted mouthguard can minimize the risks of sustaining oral injuries during participation in sports.


The dental literature supports the use and protective value of mouthguards in reducing sports-related injuries to the teeth and soft tissues. Dentists are encouraged to educate patients regarding the risks of oral injury in sports, fabricate properly fitted mouthguards, and provide appropriate guidance on mouthguard types and their protective properties, costs and benefits. Further studies addressing the effectiveness of currently available mouthguard types and population-based interventions for reducing oral injuries are recommended.


Participants in sporting and recreational activities are often susceptible to oral injury. To reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related oral trauma, the use of a properly fitted mouthguard is recommended in any athletic or recreational activity that carries a risk of injury.

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