The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of dental and facial injuries, the habit of wearing mouthguard and
the awareness regarding injury prevention and first aid after tooth avulsion among young taekwondo athletes in Croatia. MATERIALS
A survey on a sample of 484 taekwondo athletes was conducted, which included 271 male (56) and 213
female (44) athletes aged between 8 and 28 years. The questionnaire submitted to the athletes contained 15 questions about
dental trauma, use of mouthguard, dental trauma prevention, level of awareness about tooth avulsion and replantation and disturbances
associated with mouthguard use. Collected data were evaluated according to gender, age groups and duration of actively engagement
in taekwondo. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests were used for comparisons between groups.
From the survey 300
(62) of 484 athletes had sustained one serious injury and 103 (21) had sustained an orofacial injury, while 194
(40) had observed another player sustaining a dental injury. Higher number of orofacial injuries was observed in males
(24) than in females (18). Furthermore, 98 (20) athletes have experienced one or more dental injuries, and out
of these 98 suffering dental injury 60 were male (61) and 38 were female (39). The frequency of orofacial injuries in the
older group (42) is higher than in three younger groups (younger cadets 25; cadets 13; juniors 20)
(p<0.05). Mouthguard wearing was recorded in 465 athletes (96), 47.1 of them wear stock mouthguard, 47.6 wear boil and bite mouthguard, but only 5.3 were custom-made mouthguards. Most of them (96) consider that mouthguards are useful for injury prevention in taekwondo.
The results of this survey show that dental and orofacial
injuries occur in taekwondo in all age groups but mostly in the senior group. Taekwondo players know the importance of mouthguard
use, but only 5 use custom made mouthguards. This is not adequate for dental injury prevention and highlights the important
role of dental professional in education of athletes for advocating the use of custom made mouthguards.
Vol.16 – n.2/2015
Harvard: D. Vidovic, D. Bursac, T. Skrinjaric, D. Glavina, K. Gorseta (2015) "Prevalence and prevention of dental injuries in young taekwondo athletes in Croatia", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 16(2), pp107-110. doi: https://www.ejpd.eu/wp-content/uploads/pdf/EJPD_2015_2_4.pdf
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