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Oral Injury

Boy using a mouthguard

This collection of selected resources offers high-quality information about oral injury prevention and response. Use the tools below for further searching, or contact us for personalized assistance.

Key Facts

  Share these facts to help improve the oral health of pregnant women, children, adolescents, and their families.

  •  Pediatricians and primary care physicians can provide oral-injury–prevention messages while providing other injury-prevention messages during well-child visits. 1
  • Among infants and young children experiencing safety-gate-associated injuries, those under age 2 more often experienced injuries to the head and mouth, whereas those ages 2–6 more often experienced upper- and lower-extremity injuries. Increased efforts are needed to promote proper baby-gate use, ensure safety in product design, and increase awareness of age-related recommendations for use of baby gates. 2
  • Oral health professionals should learn to recognize signs of child abuse, including physical abuse, and child neglect, which often involve injury to the mouth and teeth. Obtaining a thorough history is crucial to rule out possible physical abuse, especially when the oral health professional cannot reliably determine from a child or adolescent or his or her parent or guardian the cause of a potentially nonaccidental injury. 3
  • Most oral injuries sustained by high school athletes occur while athletes are not wearing mouthguards. 4
  • All high school athletes participating in a sport that places them at risk of sustaining an oral injury should be reminded to wear a mouthguard consistently in both competition and practice. 4
  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages dentists to play an active role in educating the public in the use of protective equipment for the prevention of oro-facial injuries during sporting and recreational activities. 5
  • Oral-piercing-related injuries are a relatively infrequent yet significant reason for seeking care in hospital emergency departments (EDs). Overall, females are more likely than males to seek care for oral-piercing-related injuries in the ED, and females and males ages 14–22 are more likely than individuals in other age groups to seek such care in the ED. Infection at the piercing site and mucosal overgrowth of oral jewelry are the most frequent reasons for seeking care. 6

References

  1. Keels MA; American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Oral Health. 2014. Management of dental trauma in a primary care setting. Pediatrics 133(2):e466–e476.
  2. Cheng YW, Fletcher EN, Roberts KJ, McKenzie LB. 2014. Baby gate–related injuries among children in the United States, 1990–2010. Academic Pediatrics 14(3):256–261.
  3. Katner DR, Brown CE. 2012. Mandatory reporting of oral injuries indicating possible child abuse. Journal of the American Dental Association 143(10):1087–1092.
  4. Collins CL, McKenzie LB, Ferketich AK, Andridge R, Xiang H, Comstock RD. 2014. Dental injuries sustained by high school athletes in the United States, from 2008/2009 through 2013/2014 academic years. Dental Traumatology 31(5):1–7.
  5. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. 2016. Policy on prevention of sports-related orofacial injuries.
  6. Gill JB, Karp JM, Kopycka-Kedzierawski DT. 2012. Oral piercing injuries treated in United States emergency departments, 2002–2008. Pediatric Dentistry34(1):56–60.

OHRC Publications

This section contains OHRC-produced materials.


Details

Barzel R, Holt K. 2012. Child and adolescent oral health issues. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 8 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This fact sheet provides health professionals with information on issues related to child and adolescent oral health. Topics include dental caries, access to care, children and adolescents with special health care needs, dental sealants, fluorides, nutrition, injury and violence, and tobacco. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Casamassimo P, Holt K, eds. 2016. Bright Futures: Oral health—Pocket guide (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 90 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This pocket guide offers health professionals an overview of preventive oral health supervision for five periods—pregnancy and postpartum, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. The pocket guide is designed to help health professionals implement specific oral health guidelines during these periods. For each period, information about family preparation, risk assessment, interview questions, screening, examination, preventive procedures, anticipatory guidance, measurable outcomes, and referrals are discussed. The content aligns with Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents (4th ed.). [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. 2012–. Brush up on oral health. Elk Grove Village, IL: National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, monthly

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
Telephone: (866) 763-6481
E-mail: health@ecetta.info
Website: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov
Available from the website.

This series of tip sheets provides Head Start staff with information on current practice, practical tips to promote good oral health, and recipes for healthy snacks. Topics include teething, fluoridated community water, healthy drink choices, healthy bedtime habits, oral health during pregnancy, and preventing oral disease.


Details

National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. 2014–. Healthy habits for happy smiles. Elk Grove Village, IL: National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, 26 pp

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
Telephone: (866) 763-6481
E-mail: health@ecetta.info
Website: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov
Available from the website.

This series of handouts for pregnant women and parents of infants and young children provides simple tips on nutrition and oral health issues. Topics include brushing a young child’s teeth, choosing healthy drinks for young children, encouraging young children to drink water, giving young children healthy snacks, taking care of oral health for pregnant women, and taking care of an infant’s oral health. The series is available in English and in Spanish.

     


OHRC Library

This section contains recent materials, not including OHRC-produced materials.


Details

Community Preventive Services Task Force. 2014. Oral health: Preventing craniofacial injuries, comunity-based interventions to encourage use of helmets, facemasks, and mouthguards in contact sports. Atlanta, GA: Community Preventive Services Task Force, 5 pp

Community Preventive Services Task Force
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Guide Branch 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., MSE69
Atlanta, GA 30329

Telephone: (404) 498-6595
E-mail: communityguide@cdc.gov
Website: https://www.thecommunityguide.org/task-force/community-preventive-services-task-force-members

This document provides findings related to the effectiveness of community-based interventions to encourage use of helmets, facemasks, and mouth guards in contact sports and offers a general task force finding on the strength of available evidence to support such interventions. Information is presented on the rationale for the task force finding, including the basis for the finding, applicability and generalizability issues, data-quality issues, other benefits and harms, considerations for implementation, and evidence gaps.


Details

Deinard AS, Ginsberg M, Burke S. 2016. Intimate partner violence and elder maltreatment: Implications for the dental professional (rev. ed.). Dallas, TX: Procter and Gamble Company, 1 v

Procter and Gamble Company
Cincinnati, OH Telephone: (800) 543-2577
Website: http://www.dentalcare.com
Available from the website.

This continuing education course for oral health professionals provides information about intimate partner violence (IPV) and elder maltreatment (EM) and outlines responsibilities for recognizing, reporting, treating, and preventing IPV and EM. Topics include definitions and signs and symptoms of IPV and EM, patterns of IPV, ethical and legal responsibilities, and intervention techniques. A tool that educators can use for creating a student assignment is also available.


Details

Johnson J, Wright FD. 2019. Child maltreatment: The role of the dental professional. Dallas, TX: Procter and Gamble Company, 1 v

Procter and Gamble Company
Cincinnati, OH Telephone: (800) 543-2577
Website: http://www.dentalcare.com
Available from the website.

This continuing-education course for oral health professionals provides information about child abuse and neglect and outlines responsibilities for recognizing, reporting, treating, and preventing child abuse and neglect. Topics include defining the problem, the dentist's role in intervention, presenting problems that suggest child maltreatment, assessment and documentation, reporting, treatment for orofacial or dental trauma, and what oral health professionals can do to reduce child maltreatment.


Details

Rhode Island Department of Health, Oral Health Program. [2018]. Dental trauma decision tree. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Health, Oral Health Program, 1 p

Rhode Island Department of Health, Oral Health Program
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908

Telephone: (401) 222-5960
Fax: (401) 222-4415
Website: http://www.health.ri.gov/programs/oralhealth/index.php

This tool is designed to aid school nurses, teachers, and athletic coaches in treating minor dental emergencies. It provides information about what to do in case of injury to a primary or permanent tooth, with different instructions depending on the nature of the injury. General information about what to do in a dental emergency is included.

     

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