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Effect of Clenching via Mouth-guard and Influence of Mouth-guard Occlusal Support Area on Lateral Mandibular Impact of Skull Model

Yoshihiro Suzuki1*, Kazunori Nakajima1, Yoshiaki Kawano1, Masayasu Nishino1, Yoshiaki Matsuda1, Tomotaka Takeda1, Kenichi Fukuda2

Objective: Many studies have confirmed the benefits of wearing Mouth-Guards (MG) on the prevention or reduction of sport-related stomatognathic system trauma. However, custom made MG with high adaptability can be retained in a dentition even when the mouth is open; this situation thought to increase jaw fragility and the possibility of trauma. This study investigated the effects of the clenching with MG, and occlusal support area difference on mandibular distortions related to injury caused by direct lateral impact.

Materials and Method: A pendulum-type device was used to apply an impact on the lower-left region of the mandibular body of a skull model. MGs with different occlusal support areas were fabricated for various conditions. A pseudo-occlusal force of approximately 30 N was applied in the submental region for the model except for mouth open of control condition during impact. Evaluation criteria included the degree of mandibular distortion.

Results and Discussion: Large distortion was indicated during the impact when the mouth was open (p<0.01). In contrast, distortion was lowest when the mouth was clenched with fully supported MG (p<0.01); however, distortion increased when the occlusal support area of MG was reduced. Results indicated that clenching with appropriately designed MG is useful for the prevention and reduction of mandibular injuries.