From casual joggers to professional athletes, anyone engaging in physical activity has a general awareness of the physical risks associated. When considering personal safety, it’s common to overlook the jaw and teeth as areas at risk.
By understanding common tooth injuries on the sports ground, you can take measures to prevent them from occurring.
The five common dental injuries during sports are:
1. Chipped Tooth
One of the most common tooth injuries for athletes is a chipped tooth. This can range in severity from a small, painless chip, to a larger crack or fracture that may even expose the tooth’s nerve and which requires immediate Dental attention.
Most chipped tooth injuries in sports occur via a sudden blow to the face. The best way to prevent this is by wearing a well fitting custom mouth guard
if you are engaging in contact sport, or any sport that puts your teeth at high risk. This is true regardless of your experience level, as even beginners aren’t immune to tooth injuries. Even non contact sports like cricket can involve tooth trauma from a flying bat or ball.
2. Tooth Intrusion
A tooth intrusion occurs when the tooth gets pushed back into the jawbone (alveolar bone). This injury is most common in children, as their jawbone has yet to harden to the full strength of an adult’s.
Tooth intrusion can cause permanent damage so it is best to get to a dentist promptly for emergency treatment.
3. Fractured Roots
There are two main types of fractured root injuries ; horizontal and vertical fractures.
Fractured roots need immediate emergency dental treatment for both pain and temporary fix of the aesthetic issues.
Long term dental treatment may be complex and involve root canal, crown or implant treatments.
4. Avulsed Tooth
An avulsed tooth is the complete displacement of the tooth from its socket. Having a tooth knocked out is a common injury in contact sports, and using a custom dentist made mouthguard is essential to help limit damage.
If you have your tooth knocked out, it’s extremely important to seek prompt dental treatment so that the avulsed tooth can be reimplanted by your dentist within one hour. Take along the washed tooth placing it in a container filled with milk or saliva, which closely resemble the tooth’s original environment in the socket.
5. Jaw Dislocation or fracture
A jaw dislocation or fracture may occur from trauma delivered on the sporting field. Dislocation can even occur from yawning and involves pain and inability to close.
It’s imperative to see your dentist promptly for a diagnosis which will usually involve also getting a panoramic radiograph of your face.
Many tooth injuries including jaw fracture and dislocation can be prevented by wearing a custom fitted dentist mouthguard while playing sports.
Chatswood Dental Care provides emergency dental services to patients in the North Shore. If you require an appointment, get in touch with our team on (02) 9412 2295
during office hours. If you require out of hours emergency dental work, please call Dr Hart directly on 0408 099 866