Sports injuries and your teeth

For young adults and adolescents, sports injuries are the main source of tooth and mouth injuries. Up to 40% of dental injuries are from playing sports. If you’ve ever watched a game of rugby, football, lacrosse or other high-contact sports, this stat shouldn’t surprise you.

For young adults and adolescents, sports injuries are the main source of tooth and mouth injuries

Hockey, for example, is one sport where tooth injuries are expected. Teams in the National Hockey League even have a team dentist and oral surgeon nearby to help players who have been hit with a puck or a stick.

Some of the common dental injuries from sports include fractures, tooth intrusion (which is when the tooth is pushed into the gum), extrusion (which is when the tooth is loose), or avulsion, (which is when the tooth is completely out of the socket) and joint dislocation can also occur.

How do you prevent sports-related tooth and mouth injuries?

Wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are the primary protective source recommended in preventing injuries to the mouth. Mouthguards that are custom-made by your dentist are usually the best option. They can be expensive so as a second option is getting a drugstore or a boil-and-bite mouthguard instead if you can’t afford a custom-made one. Here are the options most commonly used to protect the mouth:

  • Boil and bite mouth guards: these are sold in sporting goods stores or drugstores and you simply boil them in water and then bite into them. They will mold to the shape of your mouth. CustMbite MVP and CustMbite Pro are boil and bite mouthguards that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Stock mouth guards: stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to wear. They are not the most comfortable option, because they can be bulky.
  • Use a face cage. A face cage is usually work by a baseball catcher or a hockey goalie.
  • Wear a helmet. Helmets usually protect the teeth and mouth, too, so it’s important to wear them whenever they’re required.

Can a tooth that has been knocked out be fixed?

Yes! The sooner you can get to your dentist’s office, the better, because your dentist will likely be able to repair it especially if you get there within one hour of it being knocked out. First, rinse any debris from the tooth and then try to put it back in the socket. If you can’t do that, just hold it in your mouth on the way to your dentist. If even that isn’t possible, put it in milk until you can see your dentist.

If your tooth cannot be saved, you may be able to get a dental implant, which can be anchored into your jawbone. It can have a crown attached to it so you can bite, eat and talk normally.

All dentists have been trained in how to treat injuries to the teeth, but some injuries require a visit to an endodontic specialist who has had training at dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics. Contact us today to speak to our dentists and have a plan in place in case your next game takes a bad turn.

Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips