Common Oral Injuries Seen in Athletes (and How to Avoid Them)
Sports are a fun way to incorporate physical fitness into your lifestyle. Even if you aren’t a professional athlete, however, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing the right protective gear for your chosen sport. Most athletes can benefit from wearing a sports mouthguard, which protects the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth from sports-related injuries. Without a mouthguard, the risk of the following oral injuries can be heightened.
During sports activities, teeth can be cracked when the player receives a blow to the face. Cracked teeth can range in severity from minor to severe. If the crack is superficial, the dentist may only need to apply bonding material. For more severe injuries, it may be necessary to cap the tooth with a crown. Athletes may recognize any of the following signs of a cracked tooth:
- Sharp pain upon biting down
- Intermittent tooth pain
- Tooth sensitivity when drinking hot or cold beverages
Although a cracked tooth can be quite serious, it’s possible to avoid this injury by wearing a sports mouthguard while playing.
An avulsed tooth is one that has been completely knocked out of its socket. It’s possible to save an avulsed tooth, but you must get to the dentist’s office as soon as possible, or at least within an hour of the injury. A sports mouthguard can reduce the risk of losing a tooth during a game or practice.
It’s possible for a tooth intrusion to occur during sports activities. This type of injury involves the tooth being forcefully driven backward into the jawbone. Tooth intrusion can result in the destruction of the tooth pulp and the shortening of the tooth roots. Tooth intrusion may require surgery, repositioning, or splinting. Like other oral injuries, the risk of tooth intrusion may be lowered by wearing a sports mouthguard.
Protect yourself or your child from sports injuries by having a custom sports mouthguard made at the dental office of John R. Carson, DDS. We are committed to providing high-quality dentistry services to families throughout the Tucson area. New and current patients can reach our office at (520) 514-7203 to request an appointment.