Basketball, dental trauma and mouthguards

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CosTech Elite’s Neil Photay discusses how mouthguards prevent dental trauma in basketball

Research has found that limited contact sports pose an equal risk of dental trauma as contact sports such as rugby [1]. Basketball, in particular, carries significant opportunities for dental trauma to occur and sees high incidences of dental injuries.

Though only limited contact is allowed on the court, common dental injuries that arise during play include; laceration of the soft tissue, chipped teeth, tooth avulsion and even broken jawbones, all of which can cause lasting damage for players, sometimes even resulting in a lifetime of further dental treatments [2].

Out of all limited contact sports, basketball offers one of the highest risks of dental trauma for players. One study that surveyed a mix of over 200 professional and semi-professional basketball players found that 80.6% of the professional players experienced soft tissue damage or dental trauma during play.

While not quite as prominent, even the semi-professional players reported a high incidence of dental injury, with 37.7% having experienced dental trauma of some kind during practice and games [3]. Despite this high occurrence of injury, the same study found that even though many of the participants had experienced dental trauma, only one of them used a custom-made mouth guard – proving that more needs to be done to educate basketball players about the risks of dental trauma.

Suggest a custom mouth guard

Mouth guards are proven to significantly reduce the occurrence and severity of dental trauma [4]. All mouth guards offer some protection, but it has been found that custom-made mouth guards, in particular, offer the best results as they mould to the wearer’s unique oral cavity. It has even been found that custom-made mouth guards can decrease the risk of concussion, due to their unique levels of shock absorbency and tailored protection [5].

Developed specifically to protect players of all sports, including basketball, Saber Protect mouth guards from CosTech Dental Laboratory are custom-made devices that can significantly decrease the occurrence and severity of dental trauma. As well as forming a superior mould of the oral cavity, they are available in different thicknesses and have varying shock absorbency abilities depending on what sport they are going to be used for – providing tailored protection that really counts.

Dental trauma during basketball can lead to difficult treatment and give patients problems that last a lifetime. Avulsed teeth, fractured crowns and other dental injuries might even lead to implant surgery and other extensive restorative work, all of which can prove expensive and require lifelong maintenance.

By offering mouth guards to patients who play basketball at all ages and abilities, you help them stay safe while they play. Mouth guards are a proven way to offer the best protection and significantly reduce the risk of dental harm, avoiding trickier, expensive surgeries for patients in the future.

For more information about CosTech Dental Laboratory, visit www.costech.co.uk  or call 01474 320076

Author:
Neil continues his family tradition of working in the dental prosthetic industry. Having worked at both CosTech Elite Dental Laboratory and family dental surgeries from the age of 16. He later completed a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science, specialising in project and team management, at Brunel University before returning to CosTech Elite in 2003.

References:
1] Cohenca, N., Roges, R., Roges, R. (2007). The Incidence and Severity of Dental Trauma in Intercollegiate Athletes. American Dental Association. JADA Volume 138, pages 1121-1126.

2] Young, E., Macias, R., Stephens, L. (2015). Common Dental Injury management in Athletics. Sports Health Volume 7(3), pages 250-255.

3] Ma, W. (2008). Basketball Players’ Experience of Dental Injury and Awareness About Mouthguard in China. Dent Traumatol Volume 24(4), pages 430-434.

4] Knapik, J., Marshall, S., Lee, R., Darakjy, S., Jones, S., Mitchener, T., delaCruz, G., Jones, B. (2007). Mouthguards in Sport Activities: History, Physical Properties and Injury Prevention Effectiveness. Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK74686/ [Last accessed Feb18].

5] Anonymous. (2014). Custom-made Mouthguards Reduce Athletes Risk of Concussion, Study shows. Science Daily. Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101133.htm  [Last accessed Feb18].