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01.06.2014 | Review Article | Ausgabe 6/2014

Sports Medicine 6/2014

Factors Affecting Sports-Related Orofacial Injuries and the Importance of Mouthguards

Sports Medicine > Ausgabe 6/2014
Elif Bahar Tuna, Emre Ozel


Sports dentistry is one of the most recent and upcoming fields in dentistry. It includes mainly the prevention and management of sports-related orofacial injuries and associated oral diseases or traumas. The dentist can play a critical role in informing athletes, coaches, and patients and their parents about the importance of prevention, treatment, and diagnosis for orofacial injuries in sports. The most significant aspect in preventing sports-related orofacial injuries is wearing basic protective devices such as properly fitting helmets, face masks, and/or mouthguards. A properly fitted mouthguard prevents violent contact between the upper and lower dentition. According to the American Society for Testing and Materials, there are three types of mouthguards: custom-fabricated mouthguards, mouth-formed guards, and stock mouthguards. Essential properties of the various materials used in the manufacture of mouthguards include water absorption, density, and thickness as well as temperature transmission, energy absorption, and drawing strength (tensile strength) of custom-made mouthguards. Currently, a variety of materials is being used for mouthguards, most commonly polyvinyl acetate-polyethylene copolymer or ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer and polyvinyl chloride. Mouthguard use is significant for athletes, since dentists play an important role in the design and application of these in clinical practice. The purpose of this article is to review the importance of mouthguard use, the incidence and location of orofacial sports injuries, the risk factors for such injuries, and the types of mouthguards and their roles in the prevention of sports-related orofacial injuries.

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