Why Mouthguards Matter in Boxing

Regardless of a boxer’s age, skill level, or style, a mouthguard is undoubtedly one of the most (if not the most) important pieces of protective equipment boxers keep in their kit. Whether they’re sparring for practice or are in the middle of a match, it only takes one punch to do some serious dental damage.

Up to

%

of orofacial and dental traumas in contact sports happen to the upper lip, upper jaw, and front teeth.
Athletes participating in contact sports have at least a

%

risk of sustaining an orofacial injury each season.
In one study, over

%

of dental injuries suffered in boxing, taekwondo, kickboxing, and Muay Thai were tooth fractures.

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A Brief History of Mouthguards in Boxing

The story of the mouthguard is tied closely with boxing, as it is the sport in which mouthguards first got their start.

Originally, individual boxers made their own mouthguards using a variety of materials like cotton, sponge, wood, and tape. They would fashion these components together to create the final product, which they would grip between their teeth during a match. There was a problem, though. As you might imagine, it was hard to focus on clenching down and fighting at the same time.

In the 1890s, London dentist Woolf Krause began making single-use “gum shields” or mouthpieces using gutta-percha, a natural rubber resin, for boxers to put over their teeth before getting in the ring. Woolf’s son Philip, an amateur boxer himself, went on to make them re-usable, with the first gum shield officially entering the spotlight during a fight between Jack Britton and Ted “Kid” Lewis in 1921.

The defining moment for mouthguards in boxing, however, came in March of 1927 during a fight between Jack Sharkey and Mike McTigue. For most of the match, McTigue had the edge over Sharkey and it looked like he was on his way to being declared the winner. Then by way of a chipped tooth that gashed his lip, fortune turned and forced McTigue to forfeit.

After that high-profile event, mouthguard use began to rise among boxers and ultimately spread to more sports including American football, rugby, ice hockey, and others.

 

Athlete Profiles

In January 2017, James DeGale found himself in New York City battling Badou Jack to hold onto his super-middleweight world title.

The good news: he kept his title.

The bad news: he sacrificed two teeth to make it happen.

Although DeGale was wearing a mouthguard at the time, it wasn’t secure and as a result kept on falling out. It took him six months to recover from the dental injuries alone.

Which Makura Mouthguard Is Best for Boxers?

Since boxing is a contact sport, we would highly recommend the TEPHRA MAX™. It boasts the highest level of impact resistance (Level 3) available for mouth-adapted mouthguards and features SHOKBLOKER™, FLEXICORE™, and GELFORM™ technology to keep you protected and comfortable.

Remember, however, that finding the best mouthguard for you is a highly personal process. At the end of the day, the right mouthguard is the one that fits you the best.

When choosing a mouthguard for boxing, pay attention for things like:

Fit

A properly fitted mouthguard keeps wearers both comfortable and safe. A mouthguard that fits well will remain securely in place (no clenching required to hold it) even if you jostle it a bit with your tongue and won’t make you gag, prevent you from speaking, or inhibit breathing in any way.

Certification

As part of the CE approval process, mouthguards must be impact tested by an independent third party. All Makura mouthguards are fully CE certified and have achieved Level 2 and Level 3 Impact Resistance. Our BOIL & BITE™ TEPHRA MAX™ is Level 3 Impact Resistant, the highest level achievable for mouth-adapted mouthguards, and our braces-compatible LITHOS PRO™ is Level 2 Impact Resistant, which is the highest attainable level for ready-made mouthguards.

Features

Look for things like gel-based and flexible liners, shock-absorbing outers, and more that are suited to your sport and your style. If you have braces, make sure you choose a braces-compatible mouthguard to keep both you and your braces safe from harm.

Compare Makura Mouthguards

TEPHRA MAX™

  • Comes with a removable strap you can use to attach your mouthguard to your helmet.
  • Boasts the highest level of impact resistance (Level 3) attainable for mouth-adapted mouthguards.
  • Features a SHOKBLOKER™ outer, FLEXICORE™ inner, and GELFORM™ liner for unparalleled shock absorption and comfort.
  • CE approved and certified.
IGNIS™

  • Comes with a removable strap you can use to attach your mouthguard to your helmet.
  • Is Level 2 impact resistant.
  • Features a SHOKBLOKER™ outer and GELFORM™ liner for maximum protection.
  • CE approved and certified.
  • Available in two sizes—senior (ages 11 and over) and junior (ages 10 and under)—and up to nine colour combinations.
LITHOS™

  • Comes with a removable strap you can use to attach your mouthguard to your helmet.
  • Is Level 2 impact resistant, the highest achievable for ready-made mouthguards.
  • The ORTHO Channel fits over fixed braces for a secure fit.
  • Features a SHOKBLOKER™ body for maximum shock absorption and SLIPSAFE pads that prevent it from
TOKA™

  • Available in a convertible version that comes with a strap you can use to attach your mouthguard to your helmet. The strap is fully detachable, so you can also wear your mouthguard without it if preferred.
  • The TOKA™ is Level 2 Impact Resistant.
  • The SHOKBLOKER™ outer keeps players safe, while the BOIL & BITE™ fit ensures uncompromised comfort.
  • CE approved and certified.
  • Available in two sizes—senior (ages 11 and over) and junior (ages 10 and under)—and six colour combinations.
KYRO PRO™

  • Available in strapped and strapless versions.
  • Made with a tough SHOKBLOKER™ outer, AIRTHRU channel, and SLIPSAFE pads.
  • Available in two sizes—junior (ages 10 and under) and senior (ages 11 and over)—and two colours, clear and black.