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May 18, 2017 2 min read

Freedom of the Tongue

Impact Custom Mouthguards is the only company that understands how debilitating your gag reflex can be.  In fact, more than 67% of our athletes chose to have their guard trimmed to alleviate the issue.

But what is a gag reflex? 


Thepharyngeal reflex orgag reflex (also known as a laryngeal spasm) is areflex contraction of the back of the throat,[1] evoked by touching the roof of themouth, the back of thetongue, the area around thetonsils, theuvula, and the back of thethroat. It, along with other aerodigestive reflexes such asreflexive pharyngeal swallowing, prevents objects in theoral cavity from entering the throat except as part of normalswallowing and helps preventchoking.  (From Wikipedia)

Boil and Bite mouthguards, especially the old fashioned, off the shelf globs of plastic that many folks wear can easily trigger this primal reflex at the back of your throat.

Since they are designed to fit everybody, they fit no one particularly well!

When one gets a boil and bite mouthguard, they first have to take it out of the package and place it in a cup of boiling water.  After waiting approximately 30-45 seconds, they take it out and try to get the molten hot plastic to mold to their teeth.  Not only does this invoke fear but often times it triggers a gag reflex, which is not pleasant.  

Even after the “molding” process takes place, one will still have a loosely formed mouth piece that floats freely about the mouth.  If it hits the roof of one's mouth, or even pushes back too far it can be trouble!  

In a nutshell, a boil and bite is designed to fit everyone’s mouth, and as a result fits no one's well.  Therefore, custom mouthguards, like those crafted by Impact Custom Mouthguards, have created not only the perfect fitting guard, but have also implemented the industry leading, athlete friendly  technique called a “gag reflex trim”.

If you suffer from a sensitive gag reflex, having Impact trim your guard will provide the perfect solution to the problem.  When trimming your guard Impact will bring forward the rear most portion of the mouth piece.  The amount fluctuates to the specifications of each individual customer.  Impact is so dedicated to getting it right they are happy to make further adjustments as desired by the athlete.

Some might say that it feels as if their tongue has been freed after this process because there is less restriction on its range of motion. This too reduces the risk of a gag reflex.  

Here at Impact Custom Mouthguards, we know how important it is to have a mouthguard fit perfectly!

-Alex Bruce