Soccer, known as football in most other countries, is one of the few sports that does not require a sports mouthguard in its regulations. People generally do not think of soccer as a contact sport. Naturally, this leads many to believe that the risk of dental injury for soccer players is too low to merit requiring a mouthguard. Soccer also relies heavily on oral communication, which mouthguards can disrupt. Unfortunately, players still have a high risk of dental injury.
Studies of Soccer Players and Dental Injuries
A 2011 study focusing on 260 male Brazilian soccer players between the ages of 10 and 20 found that soccer players are at risk of dental injury. The prevalence of dental injuries among participants was 47%, most of which occurred during practice activities. The most common injuries included soft tissue injury at 60% of reported cases, and enamel fractures at 18%. Around 5% of participants experienced avulsions (teeth displaced from their sockets). The study concluded that the use of mouthguards will protect your teeth in this sport.
The Dangers In Soccer
In general, soccer is not a contact sport. You spend more time running around the field after the ball than you do colliding with other people. Unfortunately, with so many other people also following that ball down the field, you run a high risk of running into someone. You could find yourself connecting with someone’s head, a flying knee, or flailing elbow that knocks out one or more of your teeth.
You also risk the ball accidentally making acquaintances with your teeth. Accidents happen, and you never know when you could take a soccer ball to the face. The ball doesn’t need to hit your mouth directly to cause damage. Simply hitting your jaw from the side or underneath can cause your teeth to strike against one another and break or crack.
Although it seems funny to say, wearing your sports mouthguard can help protect your teammates or rival team members from harm as well. Just ask Uruguay striker Luis Suarez and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini about their collision during the 2014 World Cup. Many debate the true nature of this incident, but footage shows Chiellini’s face colliding with Suarez’s shoulder, and the defender’s teeth broke skin. Your teeth are designed for cutting and tearing meat, meaning that they can easily break skin. Any flying limbs swinging up into your mouth risk catching the sharp side of your teeth. Your mouth guard would act as a blunt buffer, thus preventing accidental biting injuries.
Performance-enhancing mouthguards reduce your risk of tooth injury during soccer. These custom mouthguards fit to your teeth for maximum comfort. Their snug fit also prevents these guards from sliding out of place while you perform, maximizing your protection.
These mouthguards don’t just provide protection. They align your spine and support your jaw, relieving muscle tension that can interfere with your game and supporting your core. Your mouthguard will also open up your airway by supporting your jaw, increasing airflow while you play.
For more information about protecting your teeth and improving your game with performance-enhancing mouthguards, please contact Dr. Lowrance’s office at (361) 851-8274 for a consultation.