SRM Journal of Research in Dental Sciences

: 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--4

Level of awareness concerning dental trauma and its prevention among sportspersons in Chennai

R Kamalesh, J Jenita Hepsy Sharele, R Ganesh 
 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital, Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
R Kamalesh
S/O, Rajan Babu, No. 17, 4th Left Street, Manikanda Puram, Thirumullaivoyal, Chennai - 600 062, Tamil Nadu


Aim: This study aims to assess the awareness of dental trauma and its prevention and management among sportspersons in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the sportspersons in Chennai. About 205 sportspersons answered the questionnaire regarding information about the knowledge of the incidence of dental injuries, knowledge of management of dental injuries, and orofacial protective devices and their role in the prevention of dental injuries. The data were subjected to statistical analysis. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software, version 21, acquired by IBM. Results: A total of 205 answered the questionnaire regarding knowledge of dental trauma in sportspersons. 63.4% of sportspersons had reported the incidence of dental injuries in their sport. 41% of sportspersons reported that they would use tap water as storage medium and 23.4% would use patient's own saliva as a storage medium for avulsed tooth. 94.1% of the study population thinks awareness about dental injuries and its safety measures is necessary for every sportsperson. Conclusion: The findings of the study provide the insight into the awareness of dental trauma and its prevention and management among sportspersons Chennai. Most of the sportspersons lack information about professionally fitted mouth guards and the source of its availability. Therefore, to improve their basic knowledge about traumatic dental injury and their managements, more emphasis regarding dental trauma can be given during their training period.

How to cite this article:
Kamalesh R, Sharele J J, Ganesh R. Level of awareness concerning dental trauma and its prevention among sportspersons in Chennai.SRM J Res Dent Sci 2017;8:1-4

How to cite this URL:
Kamalesh R, Sharele J J, Ganesh R. Level of awareness concerning dental trauma and its prevention among sportspersons in Chennai. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jul 5 ];8:1-4
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Sports and particularly contact sports represent one of the main causes of dental injuries. Up to 19% of injuries involving head and face and approximately 33% of dental injuries are indeed sports related. Children, adolescents, professionals, and amateurs who participate in these contact sports are at greater risk for dental and oral injuries.[1] Hence, it is important to provide immediate emergency care to reduce such outcomes.[2] Dental trauma can pose significant consequences to various health-related aspects and subsequently on daily life.[3]

Dental injury can vary from a minor injury of enamel chip to major injuries such as maxillofacial injuries and displacement of teeth.[4] Up to 35% of all children and adolescents suffer accidents involving front tooth of upper jaw. Crown fractures are the most frequent dental sports injury.[1] If the treatment for traumatized teeth is delayed, it might lead to a reduction in the pulp vitality that cannot be regained back even if treatment is given at a later stage.[5]

Dental injuries can be classified by etiology, anatomy, pathology or therapeutic considerations as extrusion, intrusion and tooth avulsion where tooth avulsion being the most frequent types of dental trauma that we see in the dental office. It should be replanted as soon as possible to avoid further damage to periodontal membrane. The transport and care of the affected tooth, the prompt and adequate treatment in dental office, as well as the proper follow-up, are imperative for a successful outcome of these incidents.[6]

Severe dental injury requires extensive therapy and incurs substantial treatment costs. Most dental sports accidents would be less serious or even avoided if mouth guards were worn.[7] In the United States, the use of mouth guards has long been compulsory for junior teams in high-risk sports such as American football and ice hockey (Bureau of Dental Health Education, 1963). However, in most countries, mouth guards are used on a voluntary basis, which is most common in our country, and therefore mouth guards are uncommon. Hence, it is important to determine the behavior of this group toward the use of mouth guards with regard to their safety and promotion.[8]

Hence, the objective of the study is an attempt to know the awareness of sportspersons about dental trauma and its prevention and management.

 Materials and Methods

A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among the sportspersons in Chennai about the awareness of dental trauma and its prevention and management of dental injuries. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Priyadharshini Dental College and Hospital and permission to conduct the study was given by the Ethical Committee of Priyadharshini Dental College and Hospital was obtained.

The estimated sample size for the study was 202 determined by G* Power statistical software, Germany based on 90% power with an alpha error of 0.05. The total study population was 205 which included the boxers, hockey players, basketball players, and the football players and the respective coaches who reported on the day and were willing to participate in the study. The sample size was estimated using Fisher's exact test.

The study was conducted in three sports academies in Chennai, two of the sports academies had boxers, football players, tennis players, basketball players, hockey players, and cricketers and another sports academy had only boxers. Necessary permission was obtained from the clubs official in charge before conducting the survey.

An English questionnaire was prepared about awareness of dental trauma and its prevention and management, and it was later translated to Tamil language. A pilot survey was conducted. The questionnaire was given to few sportspersons, and their feedback was obtained. A feasible, valid, comprehensive, and standardized closed-ended questionnaire was prepared which consisted of 15 questions about awareness of dental trauma and its management.

All sportspersons were made to assemble at the academies auditorium through the help of academies official in charge. The questionnaires were given to sportspersons which recorded awareness, knowledge, and experience of the sportspersons and their coaches dealing with traumatic injuries and its prevention and management. The filled questionnaires were collected after 10 min time.

Following the collection of questionnaires, a comprehensive, informative promotion lecture was delivered in a simple language such that all sportspersons and coaches could understand the information. The lecture was on important information such as short introduction to dental tissues, types of dental traumatic injuries, emergency measures, and management of dental injuries. After the lecture, a short time was allotted for discussion and clarifications of doubts encouraging interactions and participations among sportspersons.

The collected data were entered into Microsoft Excel sheets and analyzed using Statistical Package for the social sciences version 21, IBM Corp. Released 2012.IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 21.0. IBM Corp., Armonk, NY. Mann–Whitney test for gender difference was also applied. P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


A total of 205 answered the questionnaire regarding knowledge of dental trauma in sportspersons. In which 164 (80.0%) were males and 41 (20.0%) were females. [Figure 1] shows the comparison of type of dental injuries observed and sustained by sportspersons. [Figure 2] shows the knowledge about protective role of mouth guards. The most adequate storage medium used for storing avulsed tooth among study subjects is shown in [Figure 3]. [Table 1] elaborates the knowledge about dental trauma among study subjects.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Table 1}


Sports are a common cause of dental and orofacial injuries, and dental accidents often have lifelong consequences. These complications can be avoided with adequate educational and preventive measures, such as use of mouth guards, especially in activities that increase the risks of blows and falls. The World Dental Federation recommends that national dental association informs the public and oral health-care professionals of the benefits of sports mouth guards.[9]

In the present study, 63.4% of sportspersons including players and coaches have observed a dental injury in their sports and 25.4% of players sustained dental injuries in their sports, whereas in a study conducted by Perunski et al.,[7] showed 30.8% of sportspersons have observed a dental injury and 16.6% of sportspersons have sustained dental injury. The prevalence might have been higher because of the limited use of mouth guards.

A study conducted by Tiwari et al.,[10] in central India showed that 41% of sportspersons used mouth guards, whereas in our study only 28.8% of sportspersons used mouth guards which shows the lack of awareness about mouth guards among sportspersons.

When sportspersons were asked about reasons for not wearing mouth guards the reasons stated were similar to other studies. The most widely stated reason was difficulty during speech (39.5%) followed by reasons such as unavailability of mouth guards, improper fit of mouth guards and other reasons in the descending order, which was similar to a study conducted by Perunski et al.,[7] which showed around 40% of sportspersons found difficulty of speech a reason for not using mouth guards. However, difficulty during speech is purely subjective feelings. Athletes often link these irritating factors to a negative influence on their performance. The majority of surveys show that wearing an exactly fitting mouth guard impairs breathing only in an insignificant manner [11] and thus does not reduce the performance of the athletes.[12] Players should prefer to wear custom-made mouth guards today because of their high degree of comfort and acceptance.

A study conducted by Bolhuis et al.,[8] showed that 77% of study subjects had got mouth guards from a dentist and the other 23% got it from a sports shop or elsewhere while in the present study, 30.7% of study subjects bought it from a dentist and around 58.5% of study subjects got it from sports shop, which showed that the players and coaches should be provided with more information about obtaining the mouth guards from the dentist and the benefits of custom-made mouth guards which is more comfortable and acceptable than prefabricated mouth guards.

In case of trauma prevention, appropriate emergency intervention is extremely important. It is interesting to know that in the present study, sportspersons (67.2%) were aware about the possibility of replanting an avulsed tooth following an injury. This is similar to a study conducted by Neeraja et al.[13] where 48% of study subjects were aware of replanting an avulsed tooth. This could have been due to the interactions with dental experts by some sportspersons during their training period.

In the present study, 41% of the study subjects preferred storage of avulsed tooth in tap water and 11.2% preferred storing it in milk. This is similar to the study conducted by Mesgarzadeh et al.,[3] where 38% used tap water and 33.3% used milk as storage medium. On comparing the above study, even though tap water is not an ideal option to be used as a storage medium, it is good to see at least 40.4% of our study subjects had an awareness of using a storage medium to store their avulsed tooth before visiting to nearby hospital.

In the study, 94.1% of the population thinks awareness about dental injuries and its safety measures is necessary for every sportsperson.

Hence, with the support of dentists and public health professionals, the risks of orofacial injury should be made known to sportspersons including players and coaches. Sports governing bodies and major games organizing committees should work with dental hospitals and colleges in taking a more active role in promoting programs to prevent oral injury and disease and in requiring mandatory mouth guard use and more information about the avulsed tooth and its management.


The majority of sportspersons were aware about the incidence of dental injuries and orofacial protective devices. They also agreed that interactions with medical or dental experts for prevention of dental injuries were mandatory for every sportsperson. Most of the sportspersons lack information about professionally fitted mouth guards and the source of its availability. The results obtained suggest that knowledge alone, on the use of mouth guard, does not ensure its practical usage of mouth guards.

The present study also suggests the need for educating the sportspersons, as they would like to have adequate information on mouth guards. Sportspersons should be made aware that the cost of the mouth guard and the inconvenience of wearing one are less significant as compared to the benefits of wearing it.

As dental professionals, we should take necessary steps to improve the awareness of dental trauma and motivate the sportspersons for the use of protective devices to prevent dental injuries.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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