If you experience a dental emergency while playing sports, you might be in pain - and feeling scared. Our dentists in Edmonton list common dental injuries athletes face, what to do and how to prevent them.
What common dental injuries do athletes face?
These dental injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head or face. We commonly see them in athletes.
Our favourite athletes might appear on the field or on television with gaps in their teeth. This is because a knocked out tooth is one of the most common sports injuries.
If you are dealing with a knocked out tooth, try to locate it as soon as possible. Pick it up by the crown; do not touch the root. Rinse it off and place it back into the socket if you can, biting down gently to hold it in place.
If you cannot place the tooth back into its socket, it's imperative that it be kept moist. Put your tooth in a cup of milk (not water) or your saliva, or in your mouth next to your cheek until you're able to get to your dentist's office.
Ideally, you'll get to your dentist's office within 30 minutes of the injury. The dentist may be able to save your teeth if you see them quickly enough.
Fractured Tooth Roots
Take a hard hit from the wrong angle and you could suffer a fractured tooth root. In these cases, the crack originates from the roots of the tooth and makes its way up.
It’s possible that you won’t feel any symptoms from a fractured tooth root. Since they are hidden below the gum line, they sometimes only become apparent when an infection grows in the pulp of the tooth.
A patient with a tooth root fracture should have root canal therapy as soon as possible to prevent or treat infection.
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 to prevent sports injuries
A custom-made mouth guard can prevent many dental injuries that result from sports injuries. The mouth guard will serve as a barrier between your teeth and gums, and cushion your teeth from blows to the face or head.
If you play sports or engage in high-impact physical activities, speak to your dentist about a custom-made mouth guard today.