athletes in the United States, from 2008/2009 through 2013/2014 academic years.
McKenzie LB, Ferketich AK, Andridge R, Xiang H, and Comstock RD. Dental
2015; [Epub ahead of print].
high school athletes but most of these injuries occurred while an athlete was
not wearing a properly fitted mouthguard.
only impact the player in the short term but may lead to long-term functional,
social and psychological impacts. By better understanding the frequency of
dental injuries and the circumstances surrounding those injuries, protocols and
equipment regulations can be implemented to decrease the risk of injury.
Therefore, Collins and colleagues completed a study to estimate the rate of
dental injuries among high school athletes in the United States. Furthermore,
they also examined the use of mouthguards. The researchers extracted data from
the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study from the 2008/2009
through 2013/2014 academic school years. Injuries reported to the National High
School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study were recorded on an
internet-based surveillance system. Each reported injury entry included details
regarding age, year in school, injury site, injury type, injury severity, and
any protective equipment used (including mouthguards). Athlete exposure was
considered 1 athlete participating in 1 practice or competition. An injury was
defined as an event that required medical attention by a medical professional
during a practice, game or competition and resulted in a restriction of the
athlete’s participation 1 or more days. Overall, 222 dental injuries were
recorded. This occurred during 24,787,2588 athlete exposures resulting in a
rate of 0.9 dental injuries per 100,000 exposures. An athlete was three times
more likely to have a dental injury during competition than practice. Athletes participating in field hockey, boys’
basketball, boys’ baseball and wrestling had the highest rates of dental
injuries. The injuries most commonly reported were laceration (37%) and
chipped/fractured tooth (24%). The most common mechanism was contact with
another player (61%). Of the 222 reported dental injuries, 161(73%) athletes
were not wearing mouthguards at the time of injury. Forty-seven (22%) injuries
occurred while the athlete was wearing a self-fitted (boil-and-bite) mouthguard
and 2 injuries occurred when an athlete was wearing a professionally fitted
well-fitted mouthguard to reduce the risk of dental injuries. This may be
particularly important for athletes in field hockey, boys’ basketball, boys’
baseball and wrestling because they had the highest rates of dental injuries.
These sports may benefit from a mandate that all athletes participating in
these sports wear mouthguards or another piece of equipment to protect the
athlete’s mouth and teeth. Also interesting was the fact that only 2 out of 222
(0.9%) injuries occurred to athletes wearing a professionally fitted mouthguard.
This suggests that self-fitted mouthguards may not been as effective as a
professionally fitted ones. We need to be careful since this was not a clinical
trial testing the effectiveness of professionally fitted mouthguards and these
findings may be attributable to less athletes in general wearing professionally
fitting mouthguards but prior trials have shown the benefits
of a well fitted mouthguard. Hence, clinicians should not only encourage their
athletes to wear mouthguards during both practice and competition but also
strongly encourage athletes to wear mouthguards that are professionally
for Discussion: What education, if any
do you currently do with your athletes with regards to wearing mouthguards?
Would you be in favor of regulations which would make wearing a mouthguard
Mouthguard Use in Youth Ice Hockey & Why They Don’t Wear Them
Collins, C., McKenzie, L., Ferketich, A., Andridge, R., Xiang, H., & Comstock, R. (2015). Dental injuries sustained by high school athletes in the United States, from 2008/2009 through 2013/2014 academic years Dental Traumatology DOI: 10.1111/edt.12228