Mouthguards are a common sight in full contact sports such as football or boxing, but they are a relatively rare sight on the baseball diamond. While baseball is not technically a full contact sport, injuries do happen. How can baseball players benefit from the use of mouthguards?
Mouthguards Protect More Than Teeth
Have you ever been hit in the face with a baseball? It is definitely not an experience that I would recommend. While not as common in Major League Baseball, it definitely happens now and then with younger children who play the sport. When you take an injury to the face, not only are your teeth at risk for traumatic injury, but the soft tissues in your cheek and lips are also likely to get bruised or lacerated. Mouthguards add an extra defensive layer between your hard teeth and soft cheeks!
Additionally, some research–although not the bulk of it–suggests that mouthguards can also help defend players from concussions by acting as a kind of shock absorber between the lower and upper jaws. If a player takes a hard enough hit, the lower jaw can actually hit against the top jaw. This jarring impact against the base of the skull can lead to a concussion.
Having that extra protection is bound to give players a much needed boost of confidence in their game. There is actually a local startup that has developed custom fitted mouthguards that claim to align the jaw in a way that improves breathing and performance.
This is in accordance with dentistry principles that emphasize the crucial role of the jaw in anchoring the muscles and supporting the airway. Maybe the Yankees or Mets should try them out? Anything that helps!
Consider the Alternative
Mouthguards may not be the most fashionable sports accessory, but you should really consider the alternative. Another sport that doesn’t require mouthguards, hockey, has an incredible number of players with missing teeth. Gums without teeth are more likely to develop infection, and teeth are important to prevent the deterioration of jawbone. The best replacement for missing teeth is dental implants, and while they are a great option, unfortunately they are more expensive than a mouthguard.
If you live in Rockland County and are looking for a good dentist, consider visiting Dr. Dunayer at B&D Dental Excellence in West Nyack. He can help take measurements for a custom fit mouthguard, or set you up with dental implants if you happened to forget yours during a game. Give us a call at (845) 627-7645 to schedule an appointment today.