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15 Sep 2014 | eLABORATE

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Mouthguards in sports-related head injuries

Research Mouthguards

In an American study (Winters J., DeMont R. Gen. Dent. 62. 34-58. 2014), investigators explored the effects of properly fitted custom-made mouthguards (MGs) and over-the-counter store bought mouthguards (OTC) on mild brain injury/concussion incidence in high school footballers.


Three teams (220 players) were randomly assigned to wear custom-made pressure laminated mouthguards and 3 teams (192 players) wore OTC mouthguards. When a mild brain injury/concussion occurred in practice or scheduled games during the 2005 season, pertinent information was documented. At the beginning of the season, the average thickness in the posterior occlusal region of custom made MGs was 3.5mm whilst the OTC appliances were 1.6mm. During the season, there were 24 reports of mild brain injury/concussion - 8 occurring in custom made appliance wearers (>3 mm thickness in posterior region at time of injury) and 16 in players wearing OTC mouth guards with an average thickness in posterior areas of 1.34 mm at time of injury. These results suggest that the wearing of well-fitting custom-made mouthguards reduces the risk of mild brain injury/concussion in high school footballers.

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