Shock absorption ability of mouthguard against forceful, traumatic mandibular closure

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The positive effects of wearing a mouthguard on shock absorption have been indicated in various papers. The ability of a mouthguard to protect against indirect injury, however, is not clear, and the thickness that a mouthguard would require to provide such protection remains to be determined. The primary aim of this study was to clarify the shock absorption potential of a mouthguard against forced, traumatic occlusion. The secondary objective was to compare the shock absorption ability of different thicknesses of mouthguard against this type of trauma.

Materials and methods:

An artificial skull (ZA20; 3B Scientific International, Co. Ltd, Niigata, Japan) with two-axis strain gages applied to the right buccal aspect of the mandible and the mandibular and maxillary teeth was used to measure shock absorption ability. Three different thicknesses of EVA mouthguard (1, 2, and 3 mm at the first molar) were tested.

Results and conclusions:

Within the limitations of this laboratory study, the following results were obtained: the results showed that increasing the thickness of the mouthguard improved its shock absorption ability.

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