Published on: 30-Jan-2022
Sports injuries occur every day. Some people view sports injuries as a rite of passage. While some injuries heal in a matter of days, others can be more dangerous. As a matter of fact, some sports injuries can lead to serious health issues.
Surprisingly, if you want your physical and mental health to stay at a high level, you need to pay a lot of attention to oral health.
Modern dentistry can help you repair any sports-related injury, but as most athletes know, these injuries can be rather traumatic. Every year, more than 15 million people in America experience a sports-related dental injury, according to ADAA.
To prevent any significant damage to your teeth, you need to educate yourself.
Today, we’re going to discuss:
- Why dental health is important
- Top five dental in sports
- How to protect your teeth
Without further ado, let’s begin…
Why Oral Health Matters
Every single day, your mouth takes a beating. It’s estimated that up to 40% of all dental injuries are sports-related. That’s why it’s crucial to surround yourself with a knowledgeable sports dentist. The truth is that you can’t trust just anyone, as each injury requires a different approach.
A good dental hygienist will examine your teeth and see if they’re healthy enough for physical activity. If you have any issues, your dentist will most likely recommend you to wear a mouth guard for protection.
The good news is that if you’ve already suffered from sports-related dental injuries, there’s nothing to worry about. If the injury is minor, such as a chipped or cracked tooth, you can repair the damage with cosmetic fillings.
On the other hand, if your teeth are knocked out of place, your dentist will most likely recommend braces or surgery. Keep in mind that you need to protect yourself from these injuries when playing sports!
Top Five Dental Injuries in Sports
To help you understand why it’s so important to protect your teeth, we’ve decided to list the top five dental injuries in sports.
1. Cracked Tooth
We should begin with the most common injury, cracked teeth. All it takes is a split second for your teeth to become damaged.
If your tooth shows a crack across it, you’re possibly experiencing “craze lines,” which is actually good news. These are just superficial enamel cracks that aren’t considered high-risk injuries.
To fix this issue, your dentist might recommend a dental crown. This is a protective cover for your tooth made of metal or plastic materials.
If the tooth doesn’t have any visible cracks but still feels sore, it’s likely that you have a fracture. In this case, you will probably need a crown or a root canal to fix the damage.
2. Dislodged Tooth
A dislodged tooth is the one that has shifted in its socket, but it hasn’t been knocked out completely. If your tooth is dislodged, you’ll probably need a dentist to help you with this issue.
It’s not safe to try and put your tooth back in place, as it can damage the surrounding tissues. If you’re experiencing pain, be sure to visit your dentist immediately.
To fix this issue, you’ll need a dental crown or implant surgery. Sometimes, teeth that are missing might need dental implants to help keep your jawbone healthy.
3. Knocked-Out Tooth
This injury is much worse than a crack, as it can lead to serious health issues. Fortunately, this type of dental trauma is rarer than you’d think.
If your tooth comes out completely, there’s no need to panic – just hold the tooth by its crown and rinse it with saliva or milk.
If you can’t find your tooth, don’t touch it with bare hands and visit a dentist as soon as possible! When you’re there, the hygienist will put the tooth back in place if it can be reinserted easily. Otherwise, they might recommend a root canal or a dental crown to repair the damage.
4. Tooth Intrusion
What do we usually imagine when thinking about sports-related dental injuries? Knocked-out teeth? Cracked teeth? But do you know that a strong impact can drive one of your teeth back into the jawbone?
It’s hard to describe the feeling, but if you’ve ever experienced tooth intrusion, you know it can be frightening. Fortunately, this injury is usually minor and doesn’t require any treatment.
The best thing that you can do to fix the problem is to visit your dentist before or after participating in sports. You’ll probably receive a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
5. Root Fracture
Finally, we come to the most complicated dental injury a tooth can sustain. While a crack is bad enough, a root fracture is even worse.
Remember that your teeth have roots underneath them? Well, those roots are actually anchoring your teeth into the jawbone. That means if one of those roots fractures or snaps, it won’t be safe to try and save the tooth.
You’ll need a dental implant or bridge to fix this issue. If you’re wondering how your dentist knows if your tooth needs a root canal, brace yourself: it’s actually hard to diagnose with an X-ray machine! It requires special equipment that looks into the inside of your jaw.
How to Protect Your Teeth
So what can you do to avoid dental injuries like these? The solution’s simple: get a custom mouthguard.
We know this might sound trivial, but actually investing in one is the best thing you can do for your teeth. A side note – never use store-bought guards that come in one single piece! Not only are they uncomfortable, but they have a high chance of being useless.
Instead, you should ask your dentist to create a mouth guard specifically for your teeth. A custom one will perfectly match the shape of your teeth and provide a lot more protection than regular guards.
Your dentist might be able to make it in just one appointment, so don’t forget to ask them about it! We all know that accidents happen, but you can do your part by protecting yourself.
Mouthguards are also important if you engage in contact sports like boxing or MMA. Getting hit in the face is bad enough, so – as the old saying goes – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, protecting your teeth is essential.
If you want to improve your physical health, sports are the best way to do it. Not only will sports offer you a great way to relax, but they’ll also help you burn calories and build muscles.
When done correctly, sports can discourage weight gain. The only catch is that you need to make sure you protect your teeth.
Many injuries could be prevented by wearing a custom mouthguard while exercising. Make sure to check with your dentist to see if you need a protective device and create a personalized guard for yourself!
The post 5 Common Dental Injuries in Sports and how to Prevent Them appeared first on Sports Medicine Weekly.