Although mouthguards are used to protect the stomatognathic region in contact sports, their biomechanical efficacy has not been proved. The finite element method (FEM) is widely used in biomechanical studies involving static stress analyses. Studies of mouthguards especially require dynamic analyses. We performed an impact analysis of the maxillofacial region with the use of a pseudo 3 -D FEM model consisting of the head and neck in order to verify the efficacy of two mouthguard models against impact on the chin.
The effects of impact on the maxillary central incisors and the neck of the condyle increased remarkably when the mouth was open. With the use of a mouthguard, the efficacy of impact absorption extended to the maxillary central incisors and the lateral margin of the aperture. A soft-type mouthguard was more effective than a hard-type one. With the use of a mouthguard, stress was concentrated at the neck of the condyle. The use of a mouthguard decreased stress to regions adjacent to the cerebrospinal area. These results suggest that mouthguards are effective in preventing brain concussion.