It’s one of the most debated topics in jiu jitsu gyms: is using a mouthguard necessary when training or fighting jiu jitsu? There are arguments to support both sides of the issue. Some argue it’s an absolute necessity, while others say it’s pointless to have. Who is right? We asked a few jiu jitsu practitioners what they thought.
“I train jiu jitsu in Miami. I never use a mouthguard. To me, it seems ridiculous. It hinders my breathing, and if someone attempts a rear naked choke I’m paranoid about biting down too hard or swallowing it. I have enough going on trying to breathe without the extra stress of worrying about choking on a foreign object. I’ve never been hit hard in the mouth, so I don’t see the need for it. Maybe it’s just me.”
“I train jiu jitsu in Fort Lauderdale, and the guys are tough. Sometimes I catch an elbow to the mouth accidentally, but it still hurts, especially with braces. I have no choice but to wear a mouthguard for braces. I’m used to it by now, so it doesn’t really bother me to train with it. I think it makes my cardio better. I invested in a good mouthguard from Impact Custom Mouthguard. I’m not taking any chances.”
“I train jiu jitsu in Miami and I use a mouthguard. It’s always better safe than sorry. Just my luck, the minute I don’t wear one Iimpact custom mouthguards know I’m gonna get clocked in the mouth real hard by accident. I rather split my lip than chip a tooth.”
“My jiu jitsu school is in Fort Lauderdale. I’ve already had a tooth knocked loose, but I still don’t use a mouthguard. Maybe I’m stubborn or stupid, but I don’t want breathing to be an issue for me when I’m fighting.”
According to a few dentists interviewed, ultimately, it is up to the individual if they choose to wear a mouthguard or not. But they all highly recommend it — for oral safety if nothing else. None could attest to whether physical performance would suffer due to the wearing the protective device, but all agreed that if there is any piece of equipment that can be utilized to protect any body part, it is in the best interest of the athlete to do so.
Tell us what you think. Is wearing a mouthguard when training or fighting jiu jitsu necessary?