US 3073300 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 15, 1963 H. H. B-ERGHASH 3,073,300
. MOUTH GUARD F iled March 24, 1961 FIG.4.
IN VEN TOR.
Hyman H. Berghosh BY A TTORNE Y6 United States Patent ffice 3,073,300 Patented Jan. 15, 1963 3,073,300 MGUTH GUARD Hyman H. Berghash, Buffalo, N.Y., assignor to Rehcrts Dental Manufacturing (10., Inc., Butfaio, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 24, 1961, Ser. No. 98,146 5 Qlairns. (Cl. 128-136) This invention relates to mouth guards of the yieldable type which are used by athletes for the protection of teeth, lips and jaws from injury by excessive blows, and more particularly to an improved mouth piece of the type employing a base member of yieldable moldable material which acts as a trough for confining a secondary self-molding filler material for achieving an exact lit to the mouth of the individual.
ince the athlete is considerably active when wearing a mouth piece of this type, it is a basic requirement that the mouth piece be adapted to fit closely the configuration of the extremities of the mouth, such as the teeth with which it contacts, otherwise the user must constantly keep his jaws closed to prevent the mouth piece from falling out. Since no two people have identical mouth configurations, it is impossible to mass produce mouth pieces which may be adapted for use by many users and provide the desired close fit. In order to overcome this difficulty, there has been an attempt to achieve individual fitting of a mass produced primary mouth piece member to the user by making use of standard size base members which are of such a configuration as to act as a trough for confining a secondary, self-molding filler material. This material hardens about the teeth after the base member and the filler material have been inserted Within the jaw whereupon the filler material receives the impression of the users upper teeth and gums to efiect a finished article which is integrally molded and achieves the desired configuration allowing subsequent removal and insertion during each athletic contest.
While this method has achieved great success and has provided custom fitted mouth guards, it requires the user to bite down rather severely on the base member of primary materia. Since the material used to form the mouth piece and especially the base member, must be of resilient or yieldable material, often during a strenuous activity, the user in biting down during the course of the activity bites through the base member, thereby allowing the teeth to protrude, to defeat the protective purpose of the mouth piece. Since only the front teeth have sharp cutting edges, it is this portion of the cup or base memher which the user normally bites through.
it is therefore a primary object of this invention to prevent the cup or base member from being bitten through by the user during the course of any activity in which a mouth piece is used, in order to protect and cushion the users mouth and teeth from injury.
It is a further object of this invention to prevent the cup or base member from being bitten through during the formation of the impression of the users upper teeth and gums within the secondary material during the formation of an integral mouth guard of this type.
Other objects of this invention will be pointed out in the following detailed description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which disclose, by way of example, the principle of this invention and the best mode which has been contemplated of applying that principle.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the primary cup or base member forming the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken along lines 2-2 of the base member or mouth piece shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, vertical cross sectional view of the base member of the mouth piece of the present invention and the integrally molded secondary filler.
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of a woven glass sheet for insertion in the trough of a mouth piece in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention.
Briefly, the present invention takes the form of a mouth guard of the type including a U-shaped base member of yieldable, moldable material, which is adapted to fit between the upper and lower teeth and includes inner and outer retaining walls forming a trough for confining a secondary, self-rnolding filler material which acts to provide an exact fit to the user so that the mouth piece adheres to the upper teeth. The invention is directed to the improvement which resides in the provision of a thickened, integral portion which extends longitudinally of the base member between and adjacent the retaining walls along the frontal bite portion of the mouth guard to prevent the user from biting through the base member during the course of any activity or during the custom fitting operation of the secondary filler material.
Referring to H6. 1, there is shown the primary cup or base member 10 of the mouth piece, which is formed of yieldable, moldable material which may take the form of rubber, but preferably is made of special, tasteless, non-toxic vinyl plastic. The primary body or base member 10 is precast and is generally U-shaped in configuration having a frontal bite portion 12, and a pair of leg portions 14 extending rearwardly thereof. In FIG. 2 which shows a portion of the base member, it is seen that the base member 10 includes a bottom wall 16, an inner retaining wall 18 and an outer retaining wall 20 acting to form a trough for confining a secondary selfmolding filler material to achieve a custom fit in a con ventional manner. When positioned in the mouth, the primary body or the base member is adapted to be disposed in the cusps of the upper and lower teeth with the bottom 16 disposed between these teeth.
In order to effect a custom fit, the base member 10 is filled with a secondary filler material 22 which consists of a rubber base material which is fusable at a low temperature and may take the form of a fluid which may be made up at the will of the user. For instance, a suitable mixture of liquid and powder to form the desired filler may be made just before the impression is to be taken. In one form, the liquid is a methyl methacrylate monomer and the powder, or polymer, is a combination of soft acrylates, ethyl and butyl. After mixing of the powder and liquid according to suitable directions, the user places a suificient amount of the filler within the trough formed by the side walls and bottom of the base member and then places the base member within the mouth between the cusps in the aforementioned manner to effect a custom fit.
The present invention is directed to the means for preventing the user from biting through the bottom wall 16 of the base member 10 during use. The front of the U-shaped base member 10 in effect forms a frontal bite portion 12 of the mouth guard. It is the frontal teeth of the user which are beveled and are the sharpest of the teeth found in the users mouth, and they also protrude such that the upper and lower frontal teeth attempt contact when the user bites down on the base member through the filler material 22 during the custom molding opera tion. Since the base member 10 is formed of relatively soft, yieldable material, the user in many cases presses too hard upon the base member 10 with the result that the frontal teeth bite completely through the bottom wall 16 and thus destroy the protective effect of the molded tooth guard.
In order to prevent the user from biting through the bottom wall 16, the base portion 10, FIG. 1, includes in the preferred embodiment, a central longitudinally extending, integral rib 26 which acts to form a thickened portion centrally of the bite area 12, the longitudinal rib 26 extends the full distance of the frontal bite area 12 and the bottom wall 16 may also include a plurality of transverse ribs 23 which extend from the inner wall 13 to the outer Wall 20 above the bottom wall surface and act in conjunction with the longitudinal rib 26 to prevent the user from biting through the bottom wall 16.
The base member is provided, at least along the bottom Walls, with a plurality of upstanding pips or tabs 24, located within the legs 14 of the base member and between the side walls 18 and 20.
The ribs 26 and 28 and pips 24 prevent the user from biting down to the flat surface 16 of base member during fitting, so that the pips and ribs allow a layer of the filler material to remain between the teeth and the base member after fitting. This layer of filler material acts to provide added protection and cushioning from shock when the mouth piece is in use. The layer of filler material and the ribs and pips also prevent the user from biting through the base member 10. Moreover, the ribs 26 and 28 and pips 24 themselves act as shock absorbers to protect the mouth of the user.
While in the preferred embodiment, the longitudinal rib 26 and the transverse ribs 28 are formed integrally only throughout the frontal bite portion 12 of the base member 10, this configuration may extend completely along the bottom wall 16 and may replace the upstanding pips 24 if desired.
Since it is the purpose of the reinforced or thickened area within the frontal bite portion 12 to prevent the user from biting through the bottom wall of the base member and to allow a cushioning layer of filler material to be formed between the teeth of the user and the base member 19, in an alternative embodiment, it may be desirous to provide instead of or supplemental to the longitudinal and transverse ribs 26 and 28, a separate reinforcing member which will not in any way interfere with the normal molding operation and will not prevent the filler material 22 from anchoring itself to the inner walls of the base member 10. FIG. 4 shows a relatively thin, generally U-shaped cloth element 30 which is of slightly less longitudinal length and Width than the trough formed by the base wall 16 and the side walls 18 and 20 of the base member 10. The cloth is formed of glass fibers of open mesh which will allow the filler material to flow therethrough so as to integrally mold itself with the precast cup or base member 10. In this embodiment, it is merely necessary to lay the woven glass sheet 30 within the trough prior to introducing the filler, and the glass sheet will prevent the user from biting through the relatively soft base member 10 in the same manner as the integrally formed ribs 26 and 28 and will enable a cushioning layer of filler material to form in the interstices thereof. The cloth 30 may extend throughout the troughened base member as shown or only along the frontal bite portion 12 as desired.
While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a tooth guard and jaw protector of the type including a U-shaped base member of yieldable, moldable material, including a frontal bite portion and rearwardly directed leg portions adapted to fit between the upper and lower teeth, and having inner and outer retaining walls acting as a trough for confining a secondary self-molding filler material, the improvement comprising the provision of a thickened, unbroken, integral ridge located centrally of said inner and outer retaining Walls within said trough and running longitudinally thereof across the entire frontal bite portion to enable a cushioning layer of filler material to be formed between the users teeth and the base member during fitting to prevent the user from biting through the base member during use of the tooth guard and protector.
2. The device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said longitudinal ridge extends the length of said frontal bite portion and terminates at the point where the rearwardly directed legs join the frontal bite portion.
3. The device as claimed in claim 2 further including a plurality of spaced, integrally formed transverse ridges rising above the bottom surface of said trough within said frontal bite portion and intersecting said longitudinal ridge.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 further including a plurality of upstanding tabs formed integrally with and rising above the bottom wall of said trough within said rearwardly directed leg portions of said U-shaped base member.
5. In a tooth guard and jaw protector of the type including a U-shaped base member of yieldable, moldable material, including a frontal bite portion and rearwardly directed leg portions adapted to fit between the upper and lower teeth, and having inner and outer retaining walls acting as a trough for confining a secondary self-molding filler material, the improvement comprising the provision of a plurality of spaced integrally formed elongated ridges extending transversely across the trough from the inner retaining wall to the outer retaining wall and rising above the surface of said trough Within said frontal bite portion to enable a cushioning layer of filler material to be formed between the users teeth and the base member during fitting to prevent the user from biting through the base member during use of the tooth guard and protector.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,302,004 Brown Apr. 29, 1919 2,793,436 Gotlib May 28, 1957 2,827,899 Altieri Mar. 25, 1958 2,966,908 Cathcart Jan. 3, 1961