How Mouthguards Reduce Concussion Risks

A vicious blow to the head during a hockey or football game leads to more than just disorientation or broken teeth — it may lead to a concussion.

The effects of a concussion may remain long after the symptoms have disappeared. These may have a long-term effect on your brain and wellbeing, if left untreated. Scans of concussion patients revealed irregularities in both sides of the frontal cortex section of their brains.

There are ways to reduce the risk of a concussion, Surrey Orthodontics Limited agrees that custom-fit mouthguards may lower the risk because it helps stabilise the mouth and neck.

How do mouthguards reduce the risk of concussions?

Most mouthguards have shock absorption qualities; they have a balance of soft and resilient materials that absorb impact of a blow to the head, thus reducing its negative effects. It dissipates the force of a strong hit based on the thickness of the materials and fit in your mouth.

Protecting your teeth from damage is not the only benefit of wearing a mouthguard. A properly-fitted guard provides enough space in your mouth to reduce the chances of a concussion. An upward or downward blow to your head rattles your brain and jaw, forcing it to temporarily move out of place. Even the slightest change in location has adverse effects on your head, mouth and brain. The extra space that a mouthguard offers gives your head enough shock absorption to limit the damage.

The severity or chances of a concussion lowers when the head and neck muscles remain stable after a blow. Wearing a mouthguard activates the neck and head muscles in the event of impact. The stabilisation provided decreases the arc of rotation of the head and neck. This keeps the brain in place or at least limits its movement after a hit.

Custom-Fit is the Better Choice

There are different kinds of mouthguards, but the best one to wear for protection against a concussion is a custom-fitted one. Custom-made guards have the right balance of hardness and softness to absorb a blow to the head and reduce the chances of getting a concussion.

A concussion is not something you brush aside after a game. Consult a doctor once you feel dizzy, nauseous, ringing in your ears, temporary loss of consciousness and other symptoms. Avoiding concussions are possible when you take precautions, like wearing a mouthguard.