Why Do Mouthguards Only Cover the Upper Teeth?

Posted on: 11 February 2020

If you take part in contact sports on a regular basis, it's important that you protect yourself from injury. In this respect, mouth protection is extremely important since one bad injury can lead to extensive and expensive dental treatment. But why do mouthguards only cover the upper row of teeth? Isn't the lower row of teeth at risk of injury too?

The Upper Teeth Overlap the Lower Teeth

Generally, the upper row of teeth overlaps the lower row of teeth by about one to two millimetres. This is considered a normal bite. And because of this position, if you take blunt-force trauma to your face, your upper jaw should take the brunt of the force. This means that in most cases, sports players only need to wear a mouth guard over their upper teeth during games.

A mouthguard over the upper teeth will absorb any incoming blows, protecting both rows of teeth and your soft tissues in the process. However, in some cases, players might need to wear a lower mouthguard too.

A Lower Mouthguard Is Necessary in Some Cases

Sometimes, it is necessary for a sports player to wear both upper and lower mouthguards. If, for instance, a dental patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment on their lower teeth, it is advisable for them to wear a lower mouthguard too. Otherwise, if they receive a blow to the face while wearing metal braces, they could suffer a serious abrasion.

However, a lower mouthguard will prevent this from happening. Moreover, if a patient's upper teeth do not overlap the lower teeth, then they should consider wearing a lower mouthguard. If upper teeth do not overlap the lower teeth, an upper mouthguard won't be able to absorb the force of a direct blow on the lower teeth.

Your Dentist Can Create a Custom Mouthguard

Under normal circumstances, a custom-made mouthguard is superior to anything that you can buy elsewhere. This is because your dentist will model the mouthguard on your bite, taking into account the shape and position of your teeth. This will provide protection while giving a comfortable fit. But this is usually just for the upper teeth.

However, if you are about to take part in sports activities and you think you need protection for your lower teeth; your dentist can design a lower mouthguard to suit your needs.

Mouthguards generally cover the upper teeth. However, if you believe you need a lower mouthguard too, investing in a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist will be more than worth the money you pay.