The Surprising Connection Between Your Mouthguard and Your Brain

The Surprising Connection Between Your Mouthguard and Your Brain

May 1, 2023

The Basics of Mouthguards

A mouthguard is a protective oral device designed to prevent dental injuries. A mouthguard is to be worn over the teeth and gums, creating a protective barrier that reduces the likelihood of oral-related injuries. They are common among athletes in contact sports like football, hockey, and boxing. However, even in other activities that pose a risk of dental injuries, such as skateboarding or gymnastics, you need a mouth protector for your jaw, teeth, and gums.

Mouthguards and Cognitive Function

The strong connection between wearing a mouthguard and brain function continues to be an area of exploration for medical experts. The stakes are higher in the context of sports. Ideally, even though mouthguards are dental appliances, their role in Cognitive function is evident from studies and research at Westbay Dental in Tampa, FL.

Our dental team has researched and found that wearing a mouthguard can increase blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function and increasing alertness. It works because the mouthguard near you aligns the jaw properly, allowing for better airflow and oxygenation to the brain. Besides, your mind is more at ease knowing that you are protected from possible injuries, allowing you to concentrate and focus on the activity.

The Link Between Mouthguards and Concussion Prevention

Medical experts have found that wearing a properly fitted mouthguard can tremendously reduce the risk of concussion and other head injuries in athletes.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Usually, when the brain is jolted inside the skull, it causes temporary changes in brain function. If you wear a mouthguard, it acts as a shock absorber. Therefore, it absorbs some of the force of impact during the concussion, reducing the amount of force transmitted to the head and brain. Besides, the mouthguard stabilizes your jaw, preventing it from moving violently during impact. This way, the mouthguard in Tampa, FL, meant to protect your teeth and jaw can also help prevent concussions.

Choosing the Right Mouthguard

Finding the right mouthguard is not just about visiting a dental office near you. It may be a crucial step, but you must consider various other factors. Primarily, at least learn about the three main types of mouthguards:

  1. Stock mouthguards – are pre-made, inexpensive protectors popular and available at most sporting goods stores. They are not customizable but rather come in a one-size-fits-all. As a result, they may not fit well, causing discomfort and offering inadequate protection.
  2. Boil-and-bite mouthguards – are also readily available at sporting goods stores, but a little different. They feature a thermoplastic material that softens when heated, letting you mold it to the shape of your teeth and gums. While they provide better protection than stock mouthguards, they can still be uncomfortable and unreliable if not well-fitted.
  3. Custom-fitted mouthguards – are made by dentists near you, retailing as the most expensive type of mouthguard. They are custom-fitted to the uniqueness of your mouth, providing the best fit and protection. Further, they feature high-quality materials and can last several years with proper care.

Once you know enough about the types of mouthguards available in dentistry, you can liaise with Dr. Eric Boe further to identify the best one. Some factors to consider while choosing are:

  1. The type of activity – will determine the type of mouthguard you need. For example, contact sports like football or boxing need thicker and more durable mouthguards.
  2. Comfortable to wear – so you are likely to use it frequently. Look for a mouthguard made of materials that mold to your teeth and gums comfortably.
  3. High level of protection – look for mouthguards with thicker materials or added features like shock absorption.
  4. Size and fit – choose a mouthguard that fits your mouth well without slipping or sliding around.
  5. Breathability – some mouthguards make it difficult to breathe or speak properly. Look for a mouthguard that lets you breathe and speak normally while wearing it.
  6. Durability – you need a mouthguard that lasts through multiple uses and withstands repeated pressure and impact.
  7. Ease of maintenance – if your mouthguard is difficult to clean, it can lead to bacteria buildup and potential oral health issues.
  8. Affordability – consider your budget when choosing a mouthguard, keeping in mind that a higher-priced mouthguard may offer better protection and durability.

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