MOUTH GUARD WITH BREATHING CHANNEL
Embodiments of the present disclosure describe a mouth guard having a multiple chamber air channel allowing the user to mouth breathe during use. The air channel includes a forward air chamber and a pair of rear chambers. A support structure forms a divide between the pair of rear chambers with the front air chamber being generally unobstructed. The support structure may be relatively narrow and positioned rearward of an upper lingual ridge of the mouth guard.
Latest Bite Tech, Inc. Patents:
Mouth guards are recognized to help protect the user's teeth, lips, jaws and gums from injury during athletic engagement. Mouth guards have traditionally been formed of plastic or rubber and engage a user's upper and lower teeth to keep the guard in position. Traditional mouth guards have a tendency to obstruct the user's mouth opening and thus obstruct breathing through the mouth, which is often necessary for heavy breathing during athletic endeavors. Thus, there is a need for an effective mouth guard that allows for improved air flow through a user's mouth.SUMMARY
In general, embodiments of the present disclosure describe a mouth guard with a breathing channel. Embodiments of the present disclosure describe a mouth guard having a pair of molar receiving elements with an outer lip-guard configured to confront an exterior surface of the user's lips. A breathing channel extends inwardly from the outer guard and defines an air passage allowing the user to breathe through the mouth guard.
One embodiment of the present disclosure provides a mouth guard having a multi-chamber breathing channel including a single front chamber opening to the outer wall and connected to a pair of rearward chambers. In one embodiment, a single front breathing chamber is coupled to a pair of generally elliptical rear chambers. In one embodiment, a front oblong breathing chamber is coupled to a pair of rear chambers. The front breathing chamber may extend from the front surface of the outer guard to a support wall approximately aligned with a forward portion of a lingual ridge.
In various embodiments, the molar receiving elements include a plurality of molar channels or other structure which enhance grip and stability. The molar channels or other structure may extend along the upper and lower biting surfaces of the molar receiving elements to maintain the mouth guard in place.
The outer guard includes a rearward surface that generally conforms to the user's lips. In some embodiments, the outer guard includes a forward surface having an aperture that may be used to attach a strap.
In one embodiment, both the mouth guard and detachable strap are formed of silicone, such as biocompatible medical grade silicone. Medical grade silicone is silicone with properties that allow it to be safely used in contact with living tissue. In one embodiment, the mouth guard and strap are entirely comprised of medical grade silicone.
In one embodiment of the present invention, marketing and advertising indicia, such as trademarks and logos, can be provided upon the lip-guard.
In one method of use, a user would position the mouth guard in their mouth such that molar receiving elements are received between the user's molars and the user's lips are disposed adjacent the rearward surface of the outer guard. The air channel then extends between the user's lips so that the user may breathe through the channel while the mouth guard is in place.
The details of one or more examples are set forth in the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages will be apparent from the description and from the claims.
This written disclosure describes illustrative embodiments that are non-limiting and non-exhaustive. In the drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, like numerals describe substantially similar components throughout the several views. Like numerals having different letter suffixes represent different instances of substantially similar components. The drawings illustrate generally, by way of example, but not by way of limitation, various embodiments discussed in the present document.
Reference is made to illustrative embodiments that are depicted in the figures, in which:
Embodiments are described more fully below with reference to the accompanying figures, which form a part hereof and show, by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments. These embodiments are disclosed in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. However, embodiments may be implemented in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the embodiments set forth herein. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.
Mouth guard 10 includes a pair of molar receiving elements 12 connected to an outer guard 14 positioned forward of the molar receiving elements 12. An intermediate guard portion 16 is defined between the molar receiving elements 12 and the outer guard 14. In use, at least one or more of a user's incisors and canine teeth engage the intermediate guard portion 16, the user's molars engage the molar receiving elements 12 and outer guard 14 engages the user's lip.
An inner surface of outer guard 14 is configured to confront the user's lips. A detachable strap 18 is connected to the outer guard 14. The strap is configured to be attached to a helmet or other head-worn appliance. In one embodiment both the mouth guard 10 and strap 18 are comprised of medical grade silicone. In one embodiment, mouth guard 10 is entirely comprised of medical grade silicone and is immediately ready to use without fitting or pre-treatment. In other embodiments of the present invention, mouth guard 10 includes thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and/or thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). The mouth guard 10 can include additives, such as an antimicrobial agent. Antimicrobial substances which are non-toxic and free of heavy metal for resisting the growth of the microbials may include CHLORINATED PHENOL (e.g. 5-CHLORO-2-(2,-4-DICHLOROPHENOXY)PHENOL), POLYHEXAMETHYLENE BIGUANIDE HYDROCHLORIDE (PHMB), DOXYCYCLINE, CHLORHEXIDINE, METRONIDAZOLE, THYMOL, ENCALYPOL and METHYL SALYCILATE . TRICLOSAN® from Siba Giegy of Switzerland is also available.
Silicone strap 18 is relatively resilient and dampens pull-out forces encountered, for example, during abrupt head movement. An air channel 20 extends between an opening in outer guard 14 and includes an air passage through intermediate guard portion 16. Channel 20 defines a multi-chamber air passage, including a forward chamber 30 opening to the outer guard 14 and a pair of rear chambers 32, 34. An inner wall 36 extends between the molar receiving elements 12. Rear air chambers 32, 34 exit along inner wall 36. Air channel 20 thus extends from inner wall 36 between the molar receiving members 10 and extends through the outer guard 14 whereby a user may breathe or drink through air channel 20.
Molar receiving elements 12 include channel or pads extending along upper and lower biting surfaces to provide grip and stability. In one embodiment of the present disclosure, the upper biting surface includes a plurality of channels 40 and the lower biting surface includes a patterned molar pad 42, as shown in
An upper lingual ridge 50 extends between the pair of molar receiving elements 12. In the illustrated embodiment, a lower lingual ridge 52 is also provided. The lingual ridges 50, 52 are provided to enhance fit and reduce inadvertent misalignment or ejection of the mouth guard during use. Lingual ridges 50, 52 extend generally along an arc which would follow the curvature of the user's upper and lower arcades of teeth. As shown in the figures, lingual ridges 50, 52 may extend above and below the upper and lower biting surfaces of the molar receiving elements 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the upper lingual ridge 50 is significantly longer than lower lingual ridge 52. Lingual ridges 50, 52 confront the inner surface of a user's teeth and help to maintain the mouth guard in place, resisting lateral movement of the mouth guard within the user's mouth.
Forward air chamber 30 has a generally elongated or oblong cross-sectional profile. Forward air chamber 30 includes a pair of upper and lower generally planar surfaces 60, 62 and a pair of semi-elliptical end portions 64. In the illustrated embodiment, planar surfaces 60, 62 are generally parallel to each other and the air chamber 20 has a generally uniform cross-sectional profile.
Rear chambers 32, 34 are shown as generally elliptical or oval in cross-sectional shape. The generally elliptical outer ends of rear chambers 32, 34 are sized and aligned with the generally elliptical ends 64 of the forward air chamber 30. As a result, air chamber 20, throughout its length and including forward chamber 30 and rear chambers 32, 32, includes generally uniform elliptical end profiles.
Rear chambers 32, 34 are separated between a generally vertical support structure 70. Support structure 70 includes a front wall 72 defining a boundary between forward air chamber 30 and rear chambers 32, 34. As shown in
Outer guard 14 also includes an aperture 80 (shown in
In one embodiment of the present invention, outer lip-guard 14 includes trademark or advertising indicia, such as logos, etc., that are externally visible during use.
In use, a user would place mouth guard 10 in their mouth such that molar receiving elements 12 are received between the user's molars and the user's lips engage outer guard 14. Air channel 20 this extends between the user's lips whereby the user may breathe through passageway even while mouth guard 10 is in place.
Other embodiments of the present disclosure are possible. Although the description above contains much specificity, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure, but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this disclosure. It is also contemplated that various combinations or sub-combinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of this disclosure. It should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form various embodiments. Thus, it is intended that the scope of at least some of the present disclosure should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above.
Thus the scope of this disclosure should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Therefore, it will be appreciated that the scope of the present disclosure fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present disclosure is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” All structural, chemical, and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodiment that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not necessary for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present disclosure, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims.
The foregoing description of various preferred embodiments of the disclosure have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure to the precise embodiments, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The example embodiments, as described above, were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the disclosure and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the disclosure in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the disclosure be defined by the claims appended hereto. Various examples have been described. These and other examples are within the scope of the following claims.
1. A mouth guard comprising:
- a pair of molar receiving elements connected to an outer guard through an intermediate guard portion; and
- a multiple chamber air channel extending through at least the intermediate guard portion and outer guard and including a first air chamber connected to a pair of rear chambers, said air channel allowing the user to mouth breathe while wearing the mouth guard.
2. The mouth guard of claim 1 wherein the first air chamber is generally oblong in shape and the pair of rear chambers are generally elliptical in shape.
3. The mouth guard of claim 1 further comprising:
- upper and lower lingual ridges.
4. The mouth guard of claim 3 wherein the pair of rear chambers are defined between a support structure generally aligned between the upper and lower lingual ridges.
5. The mouth guard of claim 4, wherein a front support wall of the support structure is aligned with a forward portion of the upper lingual ridge.
6. A mouth guard comprising:
- a pair of molar receiving elements;
- an intermediate guard portion connecting the pair of molar receiving elements; and
- an outer guard, with an air channel extending through the intermediate guard portion and the outer guard, said air channel defined by an elongated opening in the outer guard and pair of openings defined in an inner wall, with a vertical support structure separating a pair of rear air chambers.
7. The mouth guard of claim 6, wherein the vertical support structure is approximately located between an upper lingual ridge and a lower lingual ridge.
8. The mouth guard of claim 6, wherein the air channel includes a single oblong front chamber and a pair of generally elliptical rear chambers.
9. An oral appliance comprising:
- an outer guard;
- an intermediate guard connected to the outer guard; and
- a pair of molar receiving elements connected to the intermediate guard, with an air channel positioned between at least the outer guard and the intermediate guard, said air channel including an elongated forward chamber being generally unsupported within the outer guard and a pair of rear chambers being defined between a support structure.
10. The oral appliance of claim 9, wherein the support structure is positioned entirely within the intermediate guard.
11. The oral appliance of claim 10, wherein the support structure is positioned behind an upper lingual ridge.
12. The oral appliance of claim 11, wherein the support structure is positioned forward of a lower lingual ridge.
13. The oral appliance of claim 9, wherein the forward chamber is generally oblong in shape and the pair of rear chambers are generally elliptical in shape.
14. A method of conveying air through a mouth guard, the method comprising:
- aligning a pair of molar receiving elements within a user's mouth, said molar receiving elements being coupled together via an intermediate guard portion and an outer guard;
- providing a multiple chamber air channel within at least the intermediate guard portion and the outer guard, including at least a forward air chamber open to the outer guard and a bifurcated pair of air chambers positioned behind the forward air chamber and open to an inner guard wall, with said pair of air chambers established substantially rearward from the outer guard; and
- passing air through the air channel and into the user.
15. The mouth guard of claims 1 through 8 comprising a medical grade silicone material.
16. The mouth guard of claim 15 wherein the mouth guard is immediately ready to use without fitting or pretreatment.
17. The mouth guard of claims 1 through 8 comprising a TPE and/or TPU compatible material.
18. The mouth guard of claims 1 through 8 wherein the outer guard is sized to cover and protect the user's lips.
19. The mouth guard of claims 1 through 8 wherein marketing or commercial indicia, including logos or trademarks, is provided on the lip guard.