Sports and Teeth Injuries Often Go Hand-In-Hand
Playing sports is a part of growing up. Most people have played at least one sport throughout their life. However, while playing sports offers a chance to stay active, try new things, and work on social skills, it also comes with risks. Injuries in sports are almost commonplace. Your teeth and mouth are a very sensitive part of your body that is always in harm’s way.
Regardless if you are playing football, basketball, softball, hockey, or soccer, you can still suffer teeth injuries. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, every year almost 7 million mouth injuries occur to athletes. Sports and teeth injuries often go hand-in-hand.
Common Teeth Injuries
Playing sports takes a lot of energy. They are often played at a fast pace. Athletes are running at fast speeds, and balls are constantly flying around. Because of all these moving parts, sports can be dangerous. A flying elbow or a speeding ball can hit you in the mouth and injure a tooth. Some of the dental injuries reported are:
- Cracked Teeth: A cracked or fractured tooth is one of the easiest injuries athletes can endure. Not all cracked teeth are noticeable. However, those with one may experience sharp pain when they bite or eat hot or cold food. They may not be recognized until your next checkup. If the crack is severe, then the tooth may need to be removed and replaced with a bridge or an implant.
- Tooth Intrusion: A tooth intrusion happens when a tooth is pushed back into the socket. This displacement is very serious and often leads to the damage or death of the nerves in fully developed roots in 96% of cases. This type of injury should be treated immediately. They typically require surgery, repositioning, or orthodontic treatment.
- Tooth Extrusion: A tooth extrusion is the exact opposite of an intrusion. An impact will cause the tooth to erupt from its socket. The tooth should be repositioned and stabilized with a non-rigid splint. Closely monitor the tooth to ensure that the treatment allows the tooth to heal properly.
- Avulsion: An avulsion is simply a knocked-out tooth. There is a 90% chance of saving the knocked-out tooth by returning it to its socket. However, you need to seek treatment right away to ensure this happens. Always place the tooth back in its socket regardless of the damage to the tooth or gum.
Protecting Your Teeth
Injuries to your teeth in sports are more common than many people would like. Fortunately, there are several ways to make sure that your teeth and mouth stay in good shape. Some of these include:
- Wear a mouthguard. The National Youth Sports Foundation of Safety reports that when an athlete is not wearing a mouthguard, they are 60% more likely to suffer a tooth injury.
- Wear a helmet with a faceguard. Many sports are contact sports such as football and hockey. However, sports like baseball and softball don’t consist of contact. They do have balls being thrown very fast though. Make sure your child has a helmet with a faceguard to prevent injuries.
- Avoid sugary foods. Sugary foods, especially sugary sports drinks, can weaken your teeth. Sugar reacts with the bacteria in your mouth to create an acid that weakens your teeth. Cavities can form, which will make it easier to suffer an injury.
- Maintain proper dental care habits. Make sure that proper dental care routines are practiced consistently. This will ensure that your teeth are healthy. Healthy teeth can better withstand the impact of a ball or body part. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day all factor into this routine.
Sports are inherently dangerous. While they can be fun for anyone young or old, they have their risks. Your teeth are often in danger of suffering an injury thanks to a flying ball or body part. It is important to always take the necessary precautions to protect your teeth. If you do require a dental exam, contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas.