Not everybody wears a mouthguard or gum shield as they are sometimes known, but in my opinion wearing a mouthguard is an essential safety measure when practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

I never used to wear a mouthguard myself but since having several dental implants and crowns, I never roll or even drill without a mouthguard anymore; the one and only time that I didn’t wear a mouthguard recently was during a purple belt promotion and within ten seconds of getting on the mat, I was elbowed in the face and broke a crown.

But it’s not just your teeth that you need to consider during BJJ training, the mouthguard also plays a vital role in protecting your gums and jaw. BJJ involves various grappling techniques, transitions, and positions that can sometimes result in accidental strikes to the face or jaw. Additionally, when performing techniques like chokes or submissions, there is a risk of impact on the mouth area.

Here are some key points to consider regarding mouthguards in BJJ:

Dental Protection

BJJ is a contact sport and impact to the mouth can lead to dental injuries such as chipped teeth, fractured teeth, or even tooth loss. A mouthguard acts as a protective barrier, dispersing and absorbing the force of impacts, reducing the risk of these types of injuries.

Jaw Protection

The jaw is vulnerable to impact during sparring or accidental strikes. A mouthguard helps cushion and stabilize the jaw, reducing the risk of jaw fractures or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injuries.

Prevention of Soft Tissue Injuries

A mouthguard also helps protect the soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, and tongue, from cuts, lacerations, or bruising caused by accidental strikes or collisions. I have lost count of the number of times I bit my tongue before I started wearing a mouthguard.

Concussion Prevention

While a mouthguard primarily protects the oral cavity, it may provide some degree of protection against concussions. The cushioning effect of a mouthguard can help absorb and distribute the impact forces, potentially reducing the risk of concussive injuries.

When selecting a mouthguard for BJJ, there are different types to choose from:

Custom-Fitted Mouthguards

These mouthguards are professionally made to fit your mouth precisely. Dentists or dental laboratories typically create them based on an impression of your teeth and gums, as well as dedicated mouthguard specialist such as OPRO, Safe Jawz and Funky Gums. Custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best fit, comfort, and protection.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are available in sporting goods stores and can be customized by softening them in hot water and then biting down to shape them to your teeth. While not as precise as custom-fitted ones, boil-and-bite mouthguards still provide a good level of protection and are more affordable.

Stock Mouthguards

Stock mouthguards are pre-formed and come in various sizes. They are the least expensive option but tend to provide the least amount of comfort and protection. They may not fit as securely as custom-fitted or boil-and-bite mouthguards.


Regardless of the type you choose, it’s essential to regularly inspect your mouthguard for signs of wear or damage. Replace it as needed to maintain its protective qualities.

Wearing a mouthguard is an important safety precaution in BJJ to help safeguard your dental health, protect your jaw, and minimize the risk of oral injuries. Prioritizing the use of a mouthguard can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable training experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

My preference is the boil and bite mouthguard, which, these days are much better than they used to be. It wasn’t too long ago when the only option for boil and bite, was an unbranded, inexpensive, often transparent mouthguard. Now there are some really good boil and bite mouth guards on the market from some big brands, such as Shock Doctor, Sisu and OPRO, the latter being my favourites. I currently have a Silver grade in black and a Gold grade in white. Both of which have served me well whilst in the gym and when competing.

OPRO Best Selling Mouthguards

In my opinion the OPRO boil and bit mouthguards are the best on the market but here are some other best-selling mouthguards from Amazon.

Other Notable Mouthguards