Prevalence of orofacial trauma and the attitude towards mout
Contact sports such as handball may lead to orofacial injuries that can often be prevented by the use of a properly fitted mouthguard. Several studies have investigated orofacial injuries during contact sports in different countries, but there is a lack of data that is specific for handball players. Therefore, the aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of orofacial injuries and the proportion of handball players using a mouthguard.

Two hundred and sixty-three handball players, of which 76.8% (202) were males, aged 23 ± 8 years on average, with a mean playing experience of 11 ± 6 years, participated in the study. Among them, 24.7% reported at least one orofacial injury. A total of 237 orofacial injuries was declared. The main types of orofacial injuries including lip, cheek, and tongue injuries were reported by 18.6% of handball players; dental injuries were reported by 9.9% and injuries to the temporomandibular joint were reported by 4.9%. Most participants knew about mouthguards (97.3%, 254) and considered them efficient for preventing dental injuries in handballs (95.3%, 242/254), but only 3.0% used them.

The prevalence of orofacial injuries among handball players was high while mouthguards were very rarely used. Information should be provided to handball teams regarding mouthguard use and the management of dental injuries.