Sports Dentistry

Dental and facial traumas are common sports-related injuries. It has been widely reported that participation in sports carries the risk of sustaining a dental injury. The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Inc. estimates that during the season of play, athletes have a 10% chance of sustaining an injury to the face or mouth. Other studies show that 13–39% of all dental injuries are sports-related and of all sports accidents reported, 11–18% are maxillofacial injuries. Males are traumatized twice as often as females, with the maxillary central incisor being the most commonly injured tooth.

A physically active lifestyle is important for all age groups. Reasons to participate in sports and physical activity are many, such as pleasure and relaxation, competition, socialization, maintenance, and improvement of fitness and health. Sports participation also carries a risk for injuries, which may, in some cases, lead to permanent disability.

In children, sports activities were found to be responsible for 13% of overall oral trauma. With the increased incidence of orofacial injuries in sports, there is a greater concern for the emergency and long-term care of orofacial injuries and usage of preventive measures like helmets, mouthguards in these sports.

The epidemiology of the occurrence of orofacial sports-related injuries has not been defined by any universally accepted national surveillance system. Of three major national systems in use today, no standardized system exists for the assessment of orofacial injuries. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) surveys product-associated injuries in participating in hospital emergency departments.

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