The Science Behind How Mouth Guards Work to Prevent Injury


Mouthguards are dental appliances created to shield the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues against trauma caused by sports or bruxism (grinding the teeth). They generally consist of pliable, soft materials that fit over the teeth and act as a barrier for protection.

How mouthguards Work to Prevent Injury

Mouthguards reduce the risk of dental and oral injuries by acting as a cushion and spreading the impact forces that might happen during sports or bruxism (tooth grinding). Here is how mouthguards perform to prevent harm:

  • Shock absorption: Mouthguards are made of soft materials that soak up and release the energy from an impact or blow. The mouthguard functions as a cushion when a force is given to the mouth, lessening the impact on the teeth, jaws, and surrounding tissues. This lessens the risk of dental fractures, dislocations, and other harm.
  • Forces are dispersed: Mouthguards disperse the forces of impact across a broader region, evenly distributing the pressure over the teeth and supporting structures. The mouthguard helps to minimize isolated regions of stress that might result in tooth fractures or harm to the soft tissues by dispersing the pressures.
  • Protection from soft tissue injuries: Mouthguards serve as a barrier between the lips, cheeks, and tongue and the teeth in addition to protecting the teeth. Direct hits to the face can cause cuts, bruises, and other soft tissue injuries, which can be avoided by doing this.
  • Jaw joint protection: Mouthguards for bruxism put a physical barrier between the upper and lower teeth, minimizing the pressure and friction brought on by grinding or clenching. Mouthguards play a role in protecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) from excessive strain, lowering the risk of jaw discomfort and dysfunction by absorbing part of the pressures produced during these motions.

It’s vital to remember that mouthguards must fit properly and be used regularly during activities that pose a risk of damage in order to be effective. The finest fit and protection may be found with mouthguards that have been specially fitted by a dental specialist. You may take preventative measures to maintain your oral health and reduce the risk of dental and oral injuries by using a mouthguard.

The Science of Mouth Guard Materials

  • Thermoplastic Substances

The majority of mouthguards are made of malleable thermoplastic polymers, which when heated, may be formed. The thermoplastic material can be molded to fit the shape of the teeth and mouth. As it cools, it hardens and keeps its shape, providing a perfect fit.

  • Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) 

EVA’s superior shock-absorbing capabilities make it a popular material for mouthguards. Injuries to the teeth and mouth are less likely as a result of the efficient dissipation and distribution of impact forces. EVA also ensures long-lasting protection by offering flexibility, toughness, and tearing resistance.

  • Dual-Layer Construction

Some mouthguards have two layers: a softer inner layer and a tougher outer layer. While the harder outer layer gives durability and structural strength, the softer inner layer offers comfort and cushioning.

  •  Polyurethane

Another substance used to make mouthguards is polyurethane, which is renowned for having high impact resistance. It offers superior stress absorption, assisting in preventing damage to teeth and other oral tissues.

  •  Bite Pads

Specialized biting pads or cushions may be placed in certain places on some mouthguards. These cushions aid in the equal distribution of forces, easing the strain on certain teeth and lowering the possibility of fractures or other damage.

  • Antimicrobial Properties

Antimicrobial qualities may be present in some mouthguard materials. By limiting the growth of bacteria, fungus, and other microbes, these characteristics help lower the incidence of oral infections.

Materials for mouthguards are chosen depending on their capacity to distribute forces, cushion impacts, and retain durability. Custom-made mouthguards made by dental experts have the benefit of employing premium materials made specifically for each person’s mouth and needs.

Research on the Effectiveness of Mouthguards

The effectiveness of mouthguards has been the subject of a lot of research. According to a meta-analysis of 24 studies that was published in 2007, mouthguards can cut the probability of dental injuries in half. The study also discovered that personalized mouthguards exceeded store-bought mouthguards in terms of functionality.

Another study, released in 2012, discovered that mouthguards helped to lessen the degree of dental damage. According to the study, mouthguards can save up to 70% of the teeth that are lost or broken.

In Conclusion

In summary, when it comes to obtaining mouthguards in SW Calgary for sports activities or managing bruxism, Heritage Park Dental is the ideal choice. With their skilled dental professionals and dedication to patient well-being, you can expect high-quality mouthguards that offer effective protection and optimal comfort. 

Our dentist in SW Calgary is here to aid you in the preservation of your oral health.


  • Can I wear a mouthguard if I have braces?

Yes, wearing a mouthguard is highly recommended if you have braces. Consult with your orthodontist or dentist near you about a mouthguard specifically designed for braces.

  • How do I clean and maintain my mouthguard?

Rinse your mouthguard with cool water or a mild mouthwash after each use. Gently brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Avoid using hot water or abrasive cleaners. Store it in a ventilated container away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

  • Are mouthguards uncomfortable?

Mouthguards near you are designed to be comfortable, especially custom-fitted ones. There may be an adjustment period, but if you experience persistent discomfort, consult with your dental professional for proper fitting and adjustments.