Playing contact sports puts athletes at risk for serious facial injuries that could require jaw surgery or some other intricate procedure or treatment to address. Even weekend warriors are susceptible to this type of facial trauma, so it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from such injuries.
A custom-designed mouthguard will go a long way in preventing the type of facial trauma that may result in the need for jaw surgery. Custom-designed appliances fit better, which makes them more effective. They’re also more comfortable, which means that athletes are more likely to wear them. Boil-and-bite models sold in sporting goods stores fall short in both comfort and fit, so they offer less protection that a mouthguard that’s made specifically for you.
The process of getting fitted with a mouthguard requires just a few appointments with a dentist or possibly a specialist, such as an oral surgeon. Your measurements will be taken and then forwarded to the organization that actually manufactures the mouthguard. You’ll return to the office for a proper fitting, and then you can begin to wear the mouthguard.
If you do experience a facial injury without a mouthguard or even while wearing your mouthguard, you should consult with an oral surgeon as soon as possible or seek care in the emergency room if necessary. If your facial injury is first treated in an ER, you will still want to follow up with an oral surgeon for ongoing care to address the damage and to monitor the healing process. For example, in the case of a jaw fracture, you may need additional jaw surgery if the fracture is not set properly in the initial treatment or if some other circumstance interferes with healing.
Are you doing everything you can to prevent facial injuries while you or your child plays sports? Call our office to speak to one of our staff members and learn more about how you can protect yourself as you channel your inner athlete.