The 4 Most Common Dental Emergencies Among Athletes

April 2, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dudleyfamilydental @ 11:07 pm
a woman with a boxing glove

It’s estimated that roughly 5 million teeth are knocked out of mouths every year, and this often happens during sports and physical activities! But there are all sorts of dental emergencies that can unfold during contact and non-contact sports alike, meaning that injury prevention should be one of your top priorities if you’re an active participant! Here are four common dental emergencies that athletes experience, along with some tips for preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth are a little different from chipped teeth; whereas chipped teeth aren’t usually painful and can easily be remedied, cracked teeth are often pretty uncomfortable. These cracks frequently occur during high-contact sports, and it’s vital to seek immediate treatment in order to prevent the tooth from worsening to the point of needing extraction.

Fractured Roots

Even though the roots of your teeth are beneath your gum line, they can still sustain damage from sports injuries. However, since this damage isn’t always obvious to the naked eye, it’s crucial that you seek treatment if you’re noticing oral pain and swelling. A root canal is often one of the go-to methods for treating these injuries and salvaging the tooth in question.

Tooth Intrusion

Teeth can sometimes be driven back into the jawbone with enough forceful impact. These intrusions can lead to all kinds of complications and should be addressed swiftly; if left untreated, tooth intrusion can lead to serious damage including shortening of the roots, destruction of the tooth pulp, or even Ankylosis, which is the blending of the injured tooth’s root to the alveolar bone which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Avulsed Teeth

An avulsed tooth is another common sports-related injury—it simply refers to a tooth that’s become completely dislocated from its socket! If this happens to you, it’s important to locate the tooth and take it with you to your dentist, to give it the best chance of being replaced.

Tips for Preventing Dental Emergencies During Sports

You don’t have to give up sports or physical activities in fear of experiencing a dental emergency; there are many ways you can protect yourself while participating! Here are some useful tips:

  • Maintain excellent oral health by brushing, flossing, and regularly visiting your dentist; a clean and healthy mouth is far less likely to encounter issues that might warrant emergency care!
  • Avoid poor oral habits that weaken the enamel such as using your teeth as tools, nail-biting, smoking cigarettes and more. Even dugout favorites like sunflower seeds are potentially hazardous if you’re biting into them for hours on end!
  • Wear an athletic mouthguard; these devices are instrumental in preventing dental emergencies that result from facial trauma by redistributing the force of impact across the whole mouth. If your sport calls for it, wear a sturdy helmet with a faceguard.

About the Practice

Our team here at Dudley Family Dental is thrilled to serve patients and families in the Dudley, MA area! We offer a wide range of comprehensive services including emergency dentistry, so don’t hesitate to contact us today if you or a loved one has suffered a dental emergency while playing sports. Telephone: (508) 714-7119.

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