Basketball players' experience of dental injury and awareness about mouthguard in China

Dent Traumatol. 2008 Aug;24(4):430-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-9657.2008.00586.x.


The objective of the present study was to describe the occurrence of orofacial, particularly dental injuries in basketball, and to survey the athletes' awareness concerning the use of mouthguards during basketball training and competition. A pilot questionnaire was designed and tested with basketball players. Two hundred and thirty-six male athletes were surveyed. Seventy-seven players were professional players. Exactly 80.6% professionals and 37.7% semi-professional athletes had an experience of oral soft tissue laceration and dental injuries in basketball practice. The difference between the two groups is significant. The incidence of dental and oral injuries was related to the length of training time. About 59% of the athletes ranked the risk of orofacial and dental injury in basketball as medium. Although the awareness of mouthguards among the basketball players was very high (80.1%), only one of them had used the custom-made mouthguard. Most of the athletes gained the knowledge about mouthguards from foreign players (33.5%), media (24.8%) and teammates/classmates (24.3%). The influence of dentists was very weak. Athletes should be informed about the high risk of oral injuries when participating in contact sports. Dentists should play a more significant role in the program of promoting mouthguard use to prevent the occurrence of oral injury in sport participation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Basketball / injuries*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mouth Protectors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sports Equipment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth Injuries / prevention & control*