Simulation of mouthguard use in preventing dental injuries caused by different impacts in sports activities

  • João Paulo Mendes Tribst
  • Amanda Maria de Oliveira Dal PivaEmail author
  • Alexandre Luiz Souto Borges
  • Marco Antonio Bottino
Original Article



Due to recurring doubts by athletes regarding the effectiveness of mouthguards (MG), this study evaluated the stress distribution in the skull and teeth as a consequence of different impacts.


Two human skulls were created using modeling software: one in maximum intercuspidal position and the other with a MG. Next, a boxing glove was allocated into each of the coordinate axes (x, y and z) to represent a boxing punch (1000N): Jab (x), Cross (y) or Uppercut (z). The six models were imported to the analysis software and the geometries were subdivided into a specific number of elements. The bonded contacts simulated a situation in which the athlete would not lose their MG during impact. The system constriction was in the foramen magnum region. The results were presented in stress maps and graphs.


A higher stress concentration in teeth was shown for the model without a MG under direct impact on the upper central incisors. According to von Mises stress, each punch resulted in stress being produced in distinct areas of the skull. The displacement was proportional to the Maximum Principal Stress result. MG use decreased the jaw movement relative to the maxilla and reduced the stress magnitude during impact in all situations.


MG use is beneficial for all simulated impacts and assists in dampening the generated stresses. Direct impacts on tooth regions showed the higher stress values and the most efficacy in protection was evidenced when using a MG.


Dental trauma Mouthguard Sports dentistry Craniomandibular complex Finite element analysis Shock absorption 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dental Materials and ProsthodonticsSão Paulo State University (Unesp), Institute of Science and TechnologySão José dos CamposBrazil

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