When it comes to sports and physical activity, adrenaline and excitement often take center stage. But there’s a less glamorous side we should talk about: sports-related injuries, including dental injuries. Yep, one bad move can lead to a not-so-pleasant visit to Jacksonville Emergency and Family Dental Care. So, let’s dive into the world of teeth injuries in sports, the roughest games, and what you can do if you find yourself in a toothy situation.
Which Sports Have the Most Dental Injuries?
When you think of sports injuries, it’s easy to picture football players tackling each other or hockey players taking pucks to the face. But the realm of dental injuries in sports is much more extensive. Let’s break it down by the type of sport to get a clearer picture of where the risks lie.
Contact Sports: Ice Hockey, Field Hockey, Boxing, and Martial Arts
As you’d expect, contact sports like hockey, boxing, and martial arts top the list when it comes to common injuries to the face and oral cavity. The very nature of these games involves physical contact and a high chance of facial impact. In these sports, a mouth guard isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Ball Games: Football, Basketball, and Soccer
You might not consider basketball and soccer high-risk for teeth injuries, but statistics say otherwise. Elbows fly in basketball, and accidental kicks happen in soccer, both of which can result in broken or knocked-out teeth. And even though football players wear helmets with mouth protection, it’s still a full-contact sport that can cause dental injuries.
Individual Sports: Gymnastics and Skateboarding
At a glance, gymnastics and skateboarding might seem like a low-risk for sports-related tooth injuries. But think about the number of flips, jumps, and tricks involved. A misstep can easily lead to a face-first fall, leading to a broken tooth or even knocked-out teeth. The unpredictable nature of these sports makes dental protection advisable.
Outdoor and Adventure Sports: Mountain Biking and Rock Climbing
Adventure sports like mountain biking and rock climbing offer a different kind of risk. While you may not have an opponent trying to tackle you, the terrain itself is challenging enough. A fall on rocky ground can lead to serious dental trauma.
What to Do If You Get a Tooth Injury
The first rule is not to panic. Easier said than done, we know. For minor injuries, some at-home first aid can suffice until you get professional help. But with serious ones like dislocated or knocked-out teeth, it’s crucial to act fast and seek immediate dental care from an emergency dentist. Your next steps largely depend on the type of injury, as detailed below.
Common Sports-Related Dental Injuries
Here’s a detailed look at some of the most common sports-related dental trauma affecting both kids and adults. Knowing what to do in these situations can make a world of difference in how well you recover.
Chipped or Fractured Teeth
Probably the most frequent dental injury in sports, chipped or fractured teeth can happen in almost any sport. From a misjudged catch in baseball to a collision in basketball, the potential for a tooth fracture is always lurking.
What to Do
If you find yourself with a chipped tooth, start by rinsing your mouth gently with warm water. Try to preserve any broken pieces you find. Dental cement available over the counter can act as a temporary sealant, but this doesn’t replace the need for professional treatment. See a dentist as soon as you can for proper care, as some fractures may extend to the root level, requiring more intensive care.
Dislocated or Knocked-Out Permanent Teeth (Tooth Avulsion)
Tooth loss is one of the more severe dental emergencies one can face, especially when it’s a permanent tooth. High-contact sports like hockey or football are usual culprits, but an avulsed tooth can happen in any sports activity involving quick movements or flying objects, even noncontact sports.
What to Do
Time is of the essence here. Rinse the tooth carefully without scrubbing and, if possible, re-insert it into its socket. If that’s not an option, keep it moist in milk, saline solution, or even your own saliva. The sooner you can seek proper treatment, the better the chances of saving the tooth.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries include damages to the lips, gums, and cheeks and are quite common in contact sports. Sometimes, the injury might not even be directly related to the game; a collision with a teammate can be enough to require medical care.
What to Do
Apply a cold compress to the affected area to minimize swelling. Head to a dental office for professional assessment and possible sutures. Neglecting soft tissue injuries can lead to infections or other oral health complications.
While less common than the other types of oral injury, tooth intrusion—where the tooth gets pushed into the gum—is severe and can lead to fractured roots or even loss of the tooth.
What to Do
This condition is severe enough that you should seek dental treatment immediately. Over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate discomfort temporarily, but prompt intervention is critical for a good outcome.
How to Prevent Tooth Injuries During Sports
Prevention is often better than cure. Wearing mouth guards is a start; these can absorb the impact and save your teeth. Helmets with facial protection are also a solid option for high-impact sports. And let’s not forget regular dental check-ups. A timely visit to the dentist can help spot vulnerabilities before they turn into big problems.
Need a Custom Mouth Guard For School Sports? Contact Us Today!
When it comes to safeguarding your teeth during sports activities, one size rarely fits all. A custom mouthguard not only offers superior protection but also provides better comfort and fit than other basic types of mouth guards. Ideal for both adults and children participating in school sports, these mouth guards can be a game-changer in preventing common injuries like tooth fractures, dislocated teeth, and other oral traumas.
At Jacksonville Emergency and Family Dental Care, our dental professionals specialize in crafting custom mouth guards tailored to your specific needs. You never know when a dental emergency will strike, but you can take steps to minimize the risks.
Get in touch with us today to schedule your custom mouth guard fitting and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with top-notch dental protection.