If you sustain a dental emergency while playing sports, it can be quite painful. Our Mill Woods dentists discuss common athletic injuries and how you can prevent them.
Common Dental Injuries In Sports
There are a number of ways you can get injured while playing sports. Here are a few of the most common injuries our Mill Woods dentists see as the result of a blow to the head or face.
We often see athletes on television and on the field with gaps in their teeth. This is because a knocked-out tooth is a common sports injury.
If your tooth is knocked out, attempt to locate it as soon as possible. Pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the root. Rinse it off and place it back into the socket if you can, biting down gently to hold it in place.
If the tooth won't go back into the socket, or it's too painful for you, it is important to keep the tooth moist. Place the tooth in a cup of milk (never water) or your saliva, or in your mouth next to your cheek until you can get to your dentist’s office.
Ideally, you’ll get to the dentist’s office within 30 minutes of the injury. If you see your dentist quickly enough, they may be able to save your tooth.
Fractured Tooth Roots
If you get hit at the right angle, you can easily suffer from a fractured tooth root. In these circumstances, the cracks actually start from the tooth root and make their way up.
It is very possible not to notice any symptoms if you sustain a fractured tooth root. Your tooth roots are below the gum line so sometimes you will only feel discomfort once an infections develops in the tooth pulp.
A patient with a tooth root fracture should have root canal therapy as soon as possible to treat any infection or to prevent infection from taking hold in the first place.
Tooth intrusion is another painful condition that occurs when the tooth is driven back into the jawbone.
Children often experience this injury more than adults, as the alveolar bones that hold their tooth sockets are not as strong as those of adults.
Depending on whether it is a primary (baby) tooth or a permanent one, treatment will vary. In primary teeth, the dentist will allow the intruded tooth to spontaneously re-erupt, provided that it has not intruded into the developing adult tooth. If the tooth does not re-erupt, the dentist will remove it.
A permanent intruded tooth will also be given the chance to passively re-erupt. If re-eruption does not happen, surgical or orthodontic re-eruption treatment can be performed, along with endodontic treatment.
A cracked tooth involves a split or crack that begins at the crown and extends down into the tooth. If you have a cracked tooth, you may experience sharp pain when you bite down, intermittent tooth pain, or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. You may also not experience any symptoms at all.
Depending on the type of crack and its severity, your dentist may repair it with a crown, filling or dental bonding. In very severe cases, a root canal or extraction may be necessary. See your dentist as soon as possible.
How You Can Try To Prevent Sports Injuries
Many dental emergencies that result from sports injuries can be prevented with a custom-made mouth guard, which acts as a barrier between your teeth and gums, and cushions your teeth from blows to the head or face.
If you play sports or engage in high-impact physical activities, talk to your dentist about a custom-made mouthguard today.