To determine the prevalence and causes of injuries to the mouth and teeth among adults aged 18 to 50 years in Ontario, Canada.
2001 individuals in the target age range participated in a telephone interview survey based on random digit dialling.
Overall, 15.5% of subjects reported a history of injury with 5.4% having multiple episodes of injury. One third of the injuries occurred in adulthood. The majority (85.0%) with a history of trauma reported damage to the teeth and of these, 26.0% broke one or more teeth, 25.4% reported one or more teeth being knocked out and 6.5% reported displacement of teeth. The most common cause of injury was playing sports, followed by collisions and falls. Violence accounted for 10.0% of the injuries reported. The causes of injury varied according to gender, education and the age at which the injury occurred.
Oral and dental injuries occur throughout the lifespan, although the causes appear to vary according to the age at which they happen.