I myself don’t enforce a BJJ mouthguard rule during my classes however the room seems to be divided on the subject. I’ve noticed that most people who come to my class with a base in striking or those who are Pro MMA fighters wear a mouthguard regularly and those who are strictly BJJ practitioners are not too keen on it. I’ve heard guys say they can’t talk or breathe properly while wearing a mouthguard, the mouthguard doesn’t fit well, or a good mouthguard costs too much. A good fitting mouthguard should stay in place and allow you to talk and if you can talk, you likely have no issue breathing. If one mouthguard doesn’t feel right, try out a few more. Keep in mind, even a custom fit BJJ mouthguard is a lot cheaper than a trip to the dentist.
I have to admit, I spent most of my BJJ years not wearing a mouthguard but I recently decided I’d give it a go. Some studies have shown that biting down on something while performing explosive movements increases your results and at 40 years old, I’ll take some extra power!
I purchased the UA ArmourShield Mouthguard for about $25 from a sporting store. This one happens to be latex free so for those with a latex allergy, that would be crucial. I also picked up a couple of cheap $5 ones too. I found that in terms of fit, they both fit fine. I myself didn’t feel much of a difference between them. I was able to talk while wearing it – not really clear enough to teach a class, but I have been making a conscious effort to wear it while I train. I am pretty sure I am reducing the amount of teeth on teeth contact/grinding while rolling and I feel more comfortable in situations where an explosive burst is needed.
Here are some key benefits of wearing a mouth guard that you might not have thought of before:
- Reduces the chance of jaw factures
- Reduces the chance of concussions or other head trauma
- A mouthguard keeps your teeth in place and avoids tongue, lip and inner mouth trauma
The truth is, there are plenty of ways we can injure ourselves training Jiu Jitsu. Wearing a mouthguard can help prevent a few of them, and keep us safer on the mats so why not give it a try?