Every time they step onto a court, rink or field, athletes are at risk of a dental injury. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are related to sports. While most athletes will tell you that pain is just a part of the game, oral injuries can be particularly traumatic. Keep reading to find out which 3 dental injuries occur most often and how you can avoid a trip to the emergency dentist.
A Broken Tooth or Teeth
Hockey is one of the most physical sports played today. It is because of this that so many of these athletes have broken or missing teeth. Enamel is the hardest material that your body produces. It protects the tooth’s pulp, nerves and blood vessels from sensations that may cause pain, like hot or cold food and drinks. However, it is not indestructible. A blow to the tooth with a hockey stick could easily chip your tooth or cause cracks in your enamel, leaving your dental nerve exposed to the elements. If hit at the wrong angle, you could even experience a fractured the root.
A Dental Luxation
When your tooth has been knocked in a different direction but remains in the socket, you have what is called a dental luxation. You can stabilize this issue until you’re able to get to your emergency dentist by biting down on a clean towel. However, if you have a tooth invasion or intrusion, meaning your tooth is pushed deep into your gums, it’s best not to touch it at all. Leave it where it is and contact your emergency dentist immediately. Only a dentist can perform a tooth extraction.
A Dental Avulsion
A dental avulsion is when your tooth has been completely knocked out of your mouth. If you experience this, do not to brush the tooth or handle it by the root. You should immediately place it in a small glass of milk. If this is done within 5 minutes of the tooth coming out, your dentist may be able to save your tooth. If placing it in milk is not an option, you can try placing it back into the socket yourself and contact your emergency dentist right away.
What You Can Do to Prevent A Dental Injury
It may seem too simple, but a mouthguard is the best way to prevent damage to your teeth. Studies show that athletes who don’t use mouthguards are 60 times more likely to have a dental injury than athletes who use them. Another perk of wearing a mouthguard is that it can reduce your chances of getting a concussion by 50 percent.
While it isn’t a common thing that athletes think about, dental emergencies for athletes can result in long-term oral health issues. If you take an elbow, shoulder or hockey stick to the mouth and experience tooth pain or changes to your oral tissues, you should schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis Stansbury is dedicated to providing every patient with top-quality dental care in a comfortable environment. A dental emergency can be an incredibly painful and stressful experience. Luckily, Dr. Stansbury is certified to offer oral conscious sedation. So if you need help with a dental injury or notice any changes to your mouth after an injury, don’t hesitate to contact the office at (903) 561-1122 or visit the website to schedule a visit.