Surveillance studies of mouthguard users and nonusers have consistently shown that mouthguards offer significant protection against sports-related injuries to the teeth and soft tissues. Mouthguards provide a resilient, protective surface to distribute and dissipate forces on impact, thereby minimizing the severity of traumatic injury to the hard or soft tissues
According to a 2007 meta-analysis of studies evaluating the effectiveness of mouthguards in reducing injuries, the overall injury risk was found to be 1.6-1.9 times greater when a mouthguard was not worn, relative to when mouthguards were used during athletic activity. Another study of collegiate basketball teams found that athletes wearing custom-made mouthguards sustained significantly fewer dental injuries than those who did not.
For sporting activites that are inherently contact-oriented (e.g., football), orofacial protectors or faceguards are also appreciate for added safety and protection. The ADA has endorsed the preventive value of orofacial protectors, including helmets, faceguards and mouth protectors, for use by participants in sporting and recreational activites with some degree of injury risk and at all levels of competition.