To all the judokas reading this, I was wondering how common are dental traumas in non competitive judo. How many dental injuries have you seen in your practice? Do you use mouthguards or know someone who uses them to train in judo? Thank you for your attention!

  • in all of my years doing competitions, I've never hurt myself ( or hurt one of my partener/oponnent ) at their mouth/ teeth ... or if I did, I was minor enough I dont remember it, so its not commun. May 7, 2015 at 18:55
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    I wear a gum shield because I got elbowed in the face after the guy I was fighting turned in for osoto maki komi and knocked my front tooth lose.
    – Calluml
    Oct 21, 2018 at 16:05

7 Answers 7


I clacked my teeth together during a takedown and ended up with a tiny chip of one of my front teeth. Now I never get on the mats without a mouthguard.

If you have trouble breathing with a normal mouthguard, ask your dentist for the kind of guard meant to prevent damage if you grind your teeth when you sleep. It's a little thinner and harder, and won't be any good for striking disciplines, but they work great if you're worried about a chipped or cracked tooth.


I've had one very minor chip from being seoinage'd (by a girl half my size). Some guys wear mouthguards, especially in newaza (ground fighting), and it's not a bad idea.


I have seen two judoka w/ mouth guards over the past 10yrs. I have had a heel to the mouth (split lip, now a scar). But no issues w/ the teeth. As stated above, use for newaza could be a good option (back of head meets chin).


They're not used in judo. After 18 years of practice, including international training camps, I've never ever seen someone wear a mouthguard.

I only had some split lips, but never any dental problems. If you break a tooth in judo, it's definitely not because it's a typical injury for the sport. Chances of breaking one in, say, football (as in soccer, not AF) are at least equally high and they don't wear them either.

Reading the comments above, I'm assuming they're from Americans (sorry if I'm wrong), it seems to be used in the USA. In Europe and Asia it's definitely not used. Not even when wearing braces (and those things give nasty lip cuts...).

But in training the only rule for protection is: it should not be harmful to other judoka. So you're allowed to wear them.

  • Never seen them in Europe nor Japan. Also never felt the necessity or heard anybody ask for it or know anybody who did. Experience between ten and twenty years of competitive Judo up to European Championships. Dec 19, 2016 at 23:03

Dental traumas are rare, but they can be VERY expensive when they happen. In 15 years of practice, I know of exactly one significant dental injury, to an instructor at another local school. The injury required thousands of USD$ in dental work. This was during standing randori practice to a competitor in his 70's, who was also the type to insist on continuing tournament matches after receiving stitches to close a cut while on the mat.

Mouthguards are common, in that there are usually several people with mouthguards at any practice. The majority of people do not use them, but you should not encounter any problems if you choose to use one.


I don't practice Judo but I do MMA training which involves grappling/wrestling/BJJ. I've been clipped unintentionally a few times when my partner/opponent has gone for a kimura, armbar, and americana bringing their arm across my face to grab my targeted arm. Best thing to get is a mouth guard for grappling. I personally like using the shock doctor gel max which you can get from your local MMA or sports store for about $12. I found one online at Champs Sports for $11.99. Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouthguard It's rare that it happens in grappling but it can happen, better safe than sorry.


Dental trauma is a rare occurence. I only see mouth guards on kids with braces or people with some kind of prostetics.

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