Traumatic Dental Injuries Resulting from Sports Activities; Immediate Treatment and Five Years Follow-Up: An Observational Study

Enrico Spinas1, *, Antonello Mameli1, Luca Giannetti2
1 Department of Surgical Sciences, Sports Dental Research Center, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
2 Department of Surgical Sciences, Pedodontics Division, University of Modena-Reggio, Modena, Italy

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© 2018 Spinas et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this authors at the Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Cagliari, via Corso Vittorio Emanuele n°340, Cagliari 09124, Italy, Tel: 003970669204; E-mail:



Traumatic dental injuries (TDIs) represent 18-30% of all oral pathologies and a considerable number of these are sports related. It is very important to treat sports-related injuries and prevent complications. However, very few studies investigate the most expedient therapeutic strategies for the treatment of dental trauma correlated to sports.


The aim of this work was to focus on the average recovery time for different lesions, to assess adequate times for each athlete, to identify any association with complications and to investigate whether or not the use of mouth-guards interfered with a full recovery to normal health.


This study involved a group of 30 athletes (15 male and 15 female) who had dental injuries of varying severity.

For the purposes of data collection, two classifications were taken into account: a classification for hard tissue trauma and another for periodontal lesions. The athletes were subdivided in “type of lesion’ groups”.They were then treated depending on their individual lesions and followed up for 5 years. A statistical analysis was carried out to study the association between recovery time, lesion types and occurrence of complications.


The time for recovery was different for each type of lesion and ranged from 3-5 days (only uncomplicated fractures) to 14 days (all hard-periodontal tissue traumas). The total number of recorded pulp complications amounted to 6 cases. Among 30 athletes, 20 had begun and maintained, during the five-year follow-up period, the habit of using mouth-guards when practicing their sport activities.


Recovery time and the severity of lesions are statistically associated: the more serious the injury, the more time an athlete needs to recover and return to competitive sports events. Furthermore, recovery time and precautionary measures (mouth-guards) did not influence the onset of complications. The subjects’ habit of wearing a mouth guard continued even after the end of the therapy and follow-up periods.

Keywords: Sport dentistry, Mouth-guards, Dental trauma, Recovery time, Complications, Luxation injuries.