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Keywords:

  • mouthguard;
  • distortion;
  • acceleration;
  • concussions;
  • mandibular bone fractures

Abstract –  Some sports’ accidents are responsible for inflicting traumatic brain injuries and mandibular bone fractures when impacts occur to the chin. It is often thought that mouthguards can prevent many of these injuries. However, such assertions may be insufficient without adequate research. It is therefore necessary to establish a systematic method of investigation to solve this problem. In the present laboratory study, tests were performed using pendulum impact equipment and an artificial skull model connected to strain gages and accelerometers to simulate and measure the surface distortions related to bone deformation or fractures and the acceleration of the head related to concussions. As impacts, direct blows to the mandibular undersurface were applied. As a result, wearing a mouthguard decreased (P  < 0.01) the distortion to the mandibular bone and the acceleration of the head significantly compared with not wearing a mouthguard (54.7%: to the mandible – measured at a total of three different points, 18.5%: to the head measured at a total of three different points). Within the limits of this study, the following conclusions were drawn: The present measuring system in this study was able to evaluate the distortion to the mandibular and the acceleration of the head from the direct blow to the mandibular undersurface. Mouthguards can reduce distortion to the mandibular and the acceleration of the head from the same blow. So mouthguards might have the possibility to prevent mandibular bone fractures and concussions. However, further well-designed and exhaustive studies are vital to show that mouthguards reduce the incidence of concussions and mandibular bone fractures.