Everybody knows that the mouthguard is a must for any martial art. This equipment can be useful even for non-fighting sports like basketball. But not everybody knows exactly why it is such an important step to stuff that piece of plastic or gum thing into our mouths before fighting. So, here are five reasons why you should use it.
1. Protects Your Teeth
This is the most obvious reason. If someone hits you your mouth during training or a match, and you do not use a mouthguard, small pieces can break down from teeth. Even worse, you can lose one or more of them.
There are cases when these injuries can happen even if you use it, but it is rather rare. That can happen because of a low-quality product, or because it does not fit to your teeth correctly. (Or maybe because a bull punches your face. :))
So, a mouthguard does not provide 100% safety to your teeth, but it surely helps a lot.
2. Protects the Soft Tissues in Your Mouth
When you get a punch not only your jaws and teeth are affected by the shock, but also the soft tissues in your mouth.
A huge blow can damage your gum, tongue, and lips. The immense power that lands on your face pushes the teeth to those soft tissues tearing them up if you do not use a mouthguard.
Even if it can help a lot, bad things can happen. Just think about those UFC fighters who have suffered serious lip injuries even if the guard was in their mouth.
3. Protects Your Jaws
It is not rare to hear news about fighters who suffered severe jaw breaking from a punch or a kick. That can happen when the kick or the punch knocked the bruiser unexpectedly, and his jaws are loose.
But if you learn how to “use” the mouthguard for your benefit, you can protect yourself efficiently from such a killer strike. If you have no time to step away from the blow, you should squeeze your teeth. Anyway, typically this is a natural reflex in a case of danger coming to our head. The mouthguard helps to press your teeth together more efficiently.
Because of the pressure, your jaw joints harden, they are not loose anymore. This way, the likelihood of injuring decreases drastically.
4. It may help prevent the concussion
Well, this benefit has not been confirmed by studies yet, but the theory is the following. The mouthguard pads that area that is most exposed to the impacts absorbing most of the shock that would go to the brain throughout the jaws and facial bones.
The concession is the worst injury that can happen to you. The wounds and breaks can heal, but your brain can suffer permanent damage from the constant hits. Even if it is just a theory, that may not work, it is better than nothing.
More about brain injuries: www.medicaldaily.com
5. Protects from neck injuries
An incoming blow shakes your entire skull, and your head falls backward like the head of the crash test dummies. You can lessen the impact by strengthening your neck and using a mouthguard. Again, as you press your teeth together, you neck muscles also stiffen, so your head has a stronger support.
It may seem cool to fight without a mouthguard, but it must be in your mouth. Get a quality one and put in correctly. It is going to protect you for sure.