Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows both striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts. Many people participate in this sports and suffer injury especially to the facial region. Can this be prevented with the use of a mouthguard?
Sports starts at an early age and hence children and young adults are most susceptible to sports-related oral injury. A unique dental and maxillary morphology, behavioral risk factors, such as hyperactivity and an increase in the risk-taking behavior of a child could be the reasons for the rise in the incidence of trauma in children during sports. The use of customized mouthguards in contact sports, for example MMA, effectively prevents oral injury and preserves oral structures
By altering structures, the custom-fitted mouthguard provides protection and relief for patients with head and neck injuries during MMA. It is the dentist’s responsibility to participate in the development of the best mouthguard possible. Achieving this goal will involve, among other things, consideration of all the traumatic forces which can be transmitted through the teeth or the condyle. Achieving this goal will mean, for those engaged in active contact sports, protection of both the teeth and the head and neck structure in which the teeth are housed, which has been a common thing in basketball. Players use custom mouthguards for basketball to prevent any possible severe injury.
Although the use of a mouthguard is an efficient way to reduce traumatic injuries during sporting events, many reports have been based on surveys or the subjective opinions of athletes without data analyses or control groups among the MMA fighters’ population.
Moreover, little is known about the ideal features of mouthguards and how different devices can affect the muscle behaviors of athletes. Ready-made mouthguards are the most used by athletes due to the low cost and easy access. Custom-made mouthguards are made using an impression of the MMA fighter’s teeth to fit the individual according to specifications provided by a dental professional.