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Prim Dent J. 2017 May 1;6(2):27-34. doi: 10.1308/205016817821281738.

The Role of Mouthguards in Preventing and Reducing Sports-related Trauma.


a mouthguard, also known as a gumshield, mouth protector or sports guard is an appliance that covers the teeth and surrounding mucosa with the aim of preventing or reducing trauma to the teeth, gingival tissue, lips and jaws. The device is usually worn on the maxillary arch and works by separating the maxillary and mandibular dentition, protecting the teeth from the surrounding soft tissue, absorbing or redistributing shock and/or stabilising the mandible during traumatic jaw closure. They may also play a role in preventing and reducing concussion by absorbing impact forces that would otherwise be transmitted through the base of the skull to the brain, although the evidence for this is less conclusive. A mouthguard will usually fall into one of three categories: stock mouthguards (which are made ready to use and are believed to give the least protection), the mouth-formed or 'boil and bite' type (which are heated in hot water, placed in the mouth and moulded to the teeth) and custom-made mouthguards (which are usually made on a stone model of the maxillary teeth and surrounding tissue and are thought to give the most protection). These devices can be made from various materials but ethylene-vinyl acetate is by far the most popular material, probably because of the ease with which it can be used for the production of custom-made mouthguards. This paper gives a review of the role of mouthguards in preventing and reducing sports-related trauma and examines the materials that are used to fabricate them.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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