Mouthguards are considered by most authorities to be an essential part of equipment for players in any body-contact sports, especially the combative type e.g. Rugby Union, Rugby League, American Football (gridiron), boxing, etc. (Turner, 1977). The qualities provided by the mouthguard are dental protection, especially of the upper anterior teeth, soft tissue protection around the mouth, a reduction in the risk of fracture of the mandible, and a reduction in the concussion force from a blow to the mandible (Clegg, 1969; Upson, 1982; Davies et al, 1977). Of the 28 players interviewed, only 7 (25%) wore mouthguards, the commonest reason for not using a mouthguard being difficulty with breathing, a finding in common with other similar surveys (Davies et al, 1977). In view of the fact that 17 (60.7%) had sustained oral injuries - dental and jaw injuries, intra-oral and circumoral lacerations, in the past, it was a surprising response to find that only 2 (7.2%) stated that mouthguards should be compulsory when playing Rugby League football.
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