Unlike bones, teeth do not heal. With no mouthguard in place, a blow to the lower face sends shock waves through the skull. A direct impact can fracture the front teeth. However other blows, particularly to the lower jaw, can cause a different type of damage. A blow to the lower jaw can slam the jaws together and the sudden impact of the relatively sharp lower teeth into the back of the upper teeth is like a chisel, causing a fracture of the upper teeth by punching them forwards. In some cases, the transmitted forces can lead to a fracture of the lower jaw or will travel through the jaw joint (TMJ) into the base of the skull.
WHY SHOULD I USE A MOUTHGUARD?
Mouthguards act like a shock absorber, both spreading the force over a larger area and increasing the time for the peak force to occur. Dissipating the energy of the blow over a larger area and longer time reduces its effect preventing or vastly reducing any injury. Mouthguards are made from a flexible and compressive material which allows the impacting object to slow down and reach a halt over a longer period of time and hence the resulting transmitted force is reduced.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CUSTOM-FIT MOUTHGUARD AND A BOIL & BITE ONE?
Custom Mouthguards adapt far more closely to teeth than boil-and-bites. The reason for this is simple - the machines that make custom mouthguards work at far higher temperatures than what can be applied in the mouth and at pressures many times greater than can be produced by biting and sucking! For exactly the same heat and pressure reasons, the thickness of a Custom Mouthguard can be optimised in the laboratory, whereas a boil and bite will be thinner and will vary widely depending on the user.