Author(s): Lieger O, von Arx T
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Abstract The objective of the present study was to measure the occurrence of orofacial and cerebral injuries in different sports and to survey the awareness of athletes and officials concerning the use of mouthguards during sport activities. Two hundred and sixty-seven professional athletes and 63 officials participating in soccer, handball, basketball and ice hockey were interviewed. The frequency of orofacial and cerebral trauma during sport practice was recorded and the reason for using and not using mouthguards was assessed. A great difference in orofacial and cerebral injuries was found when comparing the different kinds of sports and comparing athletes with or without mouthguards. 45\% of the players had suffered injuries when not wearing mouthguards. Most injuries were found in ice hockey, (59\%), whereas only 24\% of the soccer players suffered injuries when not wearing mouthguards. Sixty-eight percentage of the players wearing mouthguards had never suffered any orofacial and cerebral injuries. Two hundred and twenty-four athletes (84\%) did not use a mouthguard despite general acceptance by 150 athletes (56\%). Although the awareness of mouthguards among officials was very high (59\%), only 25\% of them would support the funding of mouthguards and 5\% would enforce regulations. Athletes as well as coaches should be informed about the high risk of oral injuries when performing contact sports. Doctors and dentists need to recommend a more intensive education of students in sports medicine and sports dentistry, and to increase their willingness to become a team dentist.
This article was published in Dent Traumatol
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies