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Sassa Akervall
By
April 20, 2015

What do mouth guards have to do with concussions?

sisu-mouthguard-concussionsWell, to be perfectly blunt - absolutely nothing. And you may quote us on that. The truth of the matter is that the whole notion of mouth guards protecting your head is just that - a notion. Somebody came up with this a very long time ago, and since we are so used to taking what is written for granted, that's what people have believed.

 

This has probably been one of the biggest obstacles we have come across since we launched SISU™ Mouth Guards. How can this flat piece of seemingly unimpressive thin and hard material protect my teeth? And how can they claim to do this so much better than a big bulky old-fashioned mouth guard? How? HOW?

Well, not much has happened on the mouth guard market since the 1950's when the first mouth guards made of acrylic turned up. And believe it or not, the first athlete to wear a mouth guard was actually a player on the UCLA basketball team, Dick Perry, who, interestingly enough, modeled the mouth guard at a dentist convention in Southern California. The dentist that came up with the idea of using acrylic happened to be from Los Angeles - what a coincidence!

Here at SISU we pride ourselves on having factual data and scientific research behind all our claims, substantiated by the team of world renowned scientists we have on board. In fact, our co-founder and inventor, Dr. Jan Akervall, wanted to give you some insight on this subject himself. So here is what he wrote.

"Many of our athletes keep asking if SISU™ protects against concussions. Being 30-50% stronger than conventional mouth guards you may think that the shock absorbing properties of the guard would stop the forces that transfer to the brain. Unfortunately, that’s not true. It’s not the case for SISU™ and it certainly is not true for any other mouth guard," Jan Akervall, MD, PhD.

We see misleading advertisement about mouth guards and concussions every day; too many mouth guard manufacturers claim their products protect against traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. And it is not true!

Here are the scientific facts:

The brain “floats” around inside the skull in cerebro-spinal fluids (CFS). In simple terms, the fluid acts as a cushion for the brain. A concussion, or TBI, occurs when a blow to the head causes the skull to jerk from one position to another. When that occurs the brain snaps in the opposite direction, due to the laws of physics. The brain slams into the skull and a cascade of chemical reactions occurs. Proteins are released that cause swelling/”bruising” and inflammation. In a car accident the swelling can get so severe that vital functions of the brain shut down, but in sports where forces aren’t that powerful, concussions/headache occur.

Think about it; could a mouth guard possibly protect the head from jerking during impact, and brain from snapping back? Of course not!

Department of Defense (DoD) gave us the task of investigating if our mouth guard, or any mouth guard for that matter, could help our soldiers to protect their brains from concussions and TBI. We performed extensive testing in our laboratory and at Wayne State University’s Biomechanical laboratory, where the American car industry crash test their cars and manufacturers test the most advanced football helmets. We had to report back to DoD that there is no evidence that a mouth guard can prevent concussions.

Mouth guards are for dental protection, and SISU™ is the best sports mouth guard on the market for that. We have a 0.004% dental injury rate, even in sports like ice hockey and MMA.

So use a mouth guard to protect your teeth and don’t let false advertisement make you believe you are protected against concussions.

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