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Dent Traumatol. 2003 Oct;19(5):237-42.

Dental and oral trauma and mouthguard use during sport activities in Israel.

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1
Department of Restorative Dentistry, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the occurrence of oral and dental injuries in young Israeli population engaged in diverse sport activities. The participants' awareness of the use of protective devices, such as mouthguards, during sport activities was also evaluated. A population of 943 young adults, 95% males and 5% females (ages 18-19), was surveyed. A questionnaire was distributed relating to the type of sport activity practised, past oral and dental injuries over their lifetime, specifying the time and type of sports in which the injury occurred and the use and awareness of the protective devices. Of the total population examined, 850 (90%) were active in at least one type of sport, either as professionals or as amateurs. The analysis included the population that regularly participated in at least one sporting activity. The most commonly practised sports were soccer (54% of all active participants) and basketball (50%). The total number of dental and oral injuries experienced during all sport activities was 229, affecting 27% of the participants of whom 73 (9%) suffered dental injuries. Most dental injuries occurred during the basketball and soccer training sessions and matches reaching 42 and 41% of the total number of injuries, respectively, and affected 7.2 and 6.6% of the basketball and soccer players. Traumatic dental injuries in other sports occurred in less than 7% of the participants in these activities. Only 27% of the participants were aware of the protective devices, such as a mouthguards, and only 3% actually used these devices. These results point to the high risk of potential dental and oral injury during sport activities, the little knowledge about the benefits of using mouthguards and their limited utilization. The importance of public health education to increase the awareness of protective measures and devices and their actual use in Israel is the main focus. It should be a combined duty of dentists and sports physicians and of the coaches to encourage the use of protective devices during training and games.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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