Sport Safety: Protecting Your Teeth

Sport Safety: Protecting Your Teeth
Posted on 09/19/2017

Common Types of Tooth Injury That Occurs In Sports

 

Sports bring out a competitive, passionate side from us. We give 110% of our effort to make a goal, make a catch or make a shot. This hard work often results in championships and great memories, but sometimes it leads to accidental injuries, too. Each year, people experience dental injuries while playing sports. Learn what is at risk if you play sports without basic protection and see what simple measures you can take to protect your teeth and mouth!

Cracked Teeth

 Fracturing or cracking a tooth most likely happens when a player sustains an abrupt blow to the face. This can be contact from another player or a piece of equipment. Without a mouthguard, players are much more likely to injure their teeth this way. Sometimes a cracked tooth is not always visible, so look out for any of these symptoms:

  • Sharp pain when biting down
  • Pain while eating and drinking, especially with hot or cold foods
  • Loss of a tooth’s outer enamel shell

Fractured Roots

Sometimes, an injury in sports extends to the root of the tooth instead of just the surface or or crown. When a crack in the root travels toward the tooth’s chewing surface, a fractured root occurs. If this happens, it is important to receive root canal therapy to prevent infection. Any time a dental emergency or injury occurs, please visit your our local Kalamazoo, MI office for evaluation! 

Tooth Intrusion

Normally, sports injuries involving teeth are associated with getting knocked out or cracked. However, there is also the possibility that a tooth is driven back into the jawbone. This is tooth intrusion. Some complications with this injury include destruction of the tooth pulp, root resorption, and ankylosis, the fusion of the root to the alveolar bone. Avoid these complications by wearing basic protection when playing sports!

Basic Protection

Major and minor injuries can cause serious and costly damage, so it is best to be proactive and prevent them from happening in the first place. The front teeth are common victims of damage during sports and the tongue and cheek are often affected, too. There are two basic types of protection you can choose from, depending on your sport.

  • Mouthguards: This equipment is essential in preventing injury to your teeth, tongue, and lips. At Briarwood Valley Dentistry, we can answer questions about which type of mouthguard would be best for you and your active lifestyle. Normally, a custom-fit mouthguard from a dentist protects better than a ready-made one from a sporting-goods store.
  • Helmets: For activities that involve impact and speed, a helmet is key to protecting your mouth. Sports that should be played with helmets include football, hockey, skating, bike riding, softball and baseball. The helmet should fit correctly so that it does not come off with sudden movement. Use the appropriate helmet depending on the sport you are playing to ensure maximum protection.

Contact Your Cosmetic & General Dentist in Kalamazoo

Use this equipment as basic protection and avoid dental injury while you play sports! Know the symptoms of common injuries so nothing goes unnoticed. If you have any concerns about past sports injuries, request an appointment today. We can evaluate your teeth and offer personalized recommendations for dental care. Briarwood Valley Dentistry proudly serves the Portage, Kalamazoo, and Galesburg, MI area. Come by our Kalamazoo office for your dental emergencies or a general check up. Call us at (269) 349-3203 if you have specific questions! ​​