Orofacial injuries are increasingly considered a public health problem in high impact sports. The purposes of this study were: to assess orofacial trauma (OT) history in basketball players, in relation to wearing mouthguards (MG), facial types, presence of mouth breathing and player's position in the game, also to check athletes' level of knowledge about trauma and MGs. Questionnaires were given to category A-1 adult athletes registered in 2006/07 in the State of São Paulo and Brazilian Basketball Confederation Championships, and National Team members. Of the total sample (n=388), 50% of athletes sustained orofacial injuries; dental trauma accounted for 69.7%, with emphasis on maxillary central incisors, followed by soft tissue (60.8%), in which lip injuries were the most prevalent. No relationship was found between trauma history and player's position (P=0.19), facial type (P=0.97), presence of mouth breathing (P=0.98), but there was statistically significant association between the prevalence of OT and lack of MG use (P≤0.0001). Of all the athletes affected, only 1% wore a MG at the time of the trauma, 26.5% did not know about the MGs and 10.6% did not know their functions. When trauma occurred, 79.6% replied one must look for the tooth at the accident site, 50% knew it must be stored in liquid, as replantation was possible (62.3%) and 75.8% believed elapsed time could influence prognosis. Basketball is a high impact sport with high prevalence of OT, particularly maxillary central incisor and lip injuries, but athletes did not use MGs. There should be more educational campaigns to inform players about orofacial injuries and their prevention in Brazilian basketball.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.