The Importance of Mouth Guards to Dental Health

Jeffrey Tocci pic
Jeffrey Tocci

Dr. Jeffrey Tocci has owned a private dental practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts, for more than three decades. Through his practice, Dr. Jeffrey Tocci provides his patients with various services in the areas of general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and sports dentistry.

The field of sports dentistry primarily deals with the prevention and treatment of oral injuries resulting from athletic engagements. In terms of prevention, dentists’ can provide services as diverse as nutritional advising and custom mouth guard fitting. The mouth guard is arguably the single most important tool in a sports dentist’s arsenal when it comes to preventing oral trauma.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), as many as 2 million teeth are lost each year during athletic contests. Sports injuries, which are three times more common than auto accidents, are the leading cause of oral trauma. Despite the frequency of these injuries, only 7 percent of soccer and basketball players use protective mouth guards. Both sports present a higher risk of facial injuries compared to football and hockey. In particular, basketball players are seven times more likely to experience a serious oral injury.

The ADA further advises individuals involved with field hockey, gymnastics, rugby, volleyball, and martial arts to wear mouth guards. However, sports dentists will help patients involved in any type of athletic activity obtain custom mouth guards.