Swiss Dent J. 2015;125(7-8):810-4.
Karate is a martial art that carries a high trauma risk. Trauma-related Swiss and European karate data are currently unavailable. This survey seeks to increase knowledge of the incidence of traumatic facial and dental injuries, their emergency management, awareness of tooth rescue boxes, the use of mouthguards and their modifications. Interviews were conducted with 420 karate fighters from 43 European countries using a standardized questionnaire. All the participants were semi-professionals. The data were evaluated with respect to gender, kumite level (where a karate practitioner trains against an adversary), and country. Of the 420 fighters interviewed, 213 had experienced facial trauma and 44 had already had dental trauma. A total of 192 athletes had hurt their opponent by inflicting a facial or dental injury, and 290 knew about the possibility of tooth replantation following an avulsion. Only 50 interviewees knew about tooth rescue boxes. Nearly all the individuals interviewed wore a mouthguard (n = 412), and 178 of them had made their own modifications to the guard. The results of the present survey suggest that more information and education in wearing protective gear are required to reduce the incidence of dental injuries in karate.