In a 1995 study, it was found there was a high incidence of injuries in sports other than football, in both male and female sporting activities. In basketball where mouth guards are not typically worn, .07% of the injuries were orofacial. Various injuries ranged from simple contusions and lacerations, avulsions, concussions and broken jaws.
Most often, the most common type of head injury is dental in nature. Losing a tooth can be expensive in lifetime dental costs. The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards do prevent over 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone.
Without a properly fitted guard, the lower jaw will be in contact with the base of the skull, increasing the possibility of secondary trauma and concussions. Fightdentist™ Boil-n-Mold Pro Guards pad 2-4mm of space between the lower jaw and base of the skull which is what the athlete needs to increase protection [Figure 1].
The study conducted by Dr Silva Battaglin and Dr Adam Persky, both members of the American Academy of Sports Dentistry and with consent of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, was performed December 2005 to March 2007. In total, over 580 mouth guard samples were obtained at 36 Las Vegas based competitive events, from amateur level to high-level professional athletes. The athletes were interviewed; mouth guards were inspected, measured and photographed prior to competitive events.
Using criteria established by the American Academy of Sports Dentistry, Dr Persky & Dr Battaglin examined the mouth guards for quality, controlled thickness in key areas, holes, tears and damage. The Doctors issued 453 of 580 mouth guards a "failing grade" on performance and would not recommend they be used in any active or contact sport.
Dr Persky and Dr Battaglin quickly discovered there was a need in the market place for mouth guards that had great protection factors, was is easy to use, reasonably priced and looked cool. They began work to develop a mouth guard solution that would properly protect athletes of all ages, all sports and all levels, professional and amateur.
During the summer of 2007 Dr Persky and Dr Battaglin presented their findings to the Academy of Boxing Commissioners annual session in Las Vegas. Academy members included international athletic commissioners, ring doctors, and ring inspectors who were active in Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts events. Upon conclusion of their presentation the Nevada State Athletic Commission now requires every athlete, who is competing in the state of Nevada, to have two properly fitted mouth guards.
From 1990 to 2000, Dr Persky and Dr Battaglin worked alongside the Ontario Minor Hockey Association in Canada to establish guidelines for proper mouth guard protection. With over 300,000 members, it was the association's goal to share these guide lines with other American based minor hockey associations on improving the level of protection for youth and adult players.
Today mouth guards are most commonly used to protect against injury during action and contact sports where injuries to the face and head are a major hazard. The American Dental Association and Academy of Sports Dentistry recommend mouth guard protection for the following sports: football, lacrosse, wrestling, baseball, softball, martial arts, basketball, ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, racket ball, rugby, equestrian events, track and field, boxing, weight lifting, gymnastics, water polo, inline skating, skateboarding, BMX, cycling, skydiving, skiing and snowboarding.