Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, sports can be an exhilarating way to stay active and competitive. But along with the thrill of the game comes the risk of injuries, and that includes dental emergencies. Contact sports like football, hockey, and rugby can cause dental emergencies. Keep reading to discover the most prevalent dental emergencies that athletes encounter and how you can safeguard your pearly whites while playing your favorite sports.
#1: Cracked Teeth
When engaging in sports activities that involve equipment such as pucks, racquets, sticks, balls, or bats, or those that involve physical contact, it is important to take extra precautions to prevent injuries to your teeth. A direct hit to the face can result in a cracked or fractured tooth, and craze lines can also occur.
While craze lines are surface cracks that don’t usually pose a threat to your oral health, if they extend downward from the chewing surface, this is considered a dental emergency. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as:
- Experiencing discomfort while consuming hot or cold beverages or food
- Sharp pain when biting down on food
- Frequent and recurring toothaches
#2: Tooth Intrusion
Athletes of all ages are at risk of intrusion injuries where a tooth is forcefully pushed back into the jawbone. However, it is more common in baby teeth, and if not treated promptly, it can lead to severe complications such as root reabsorption and destruction of the tooth pulp.
Ankylosis is a potential consequence of intrusion injuries or other forms of dental trauma, whereby the roots of a tooth become fused to the alveolar bone. This fusion can make it challenging or even impossible to move the affected tooth, potentially causing discomfort or infection.
#3: Fractured Tooth Roots
A forceful impact to the face may result in a root fracture of a tooth, causing a crack that extends from the root to the crown. As the root is hidden beneath the gum line, an infection may not be visible until it has already spread. Root canal therapy can eliminate the infection and prevent tooth extraction.
How Athletes Can Prevent Dental Emergencies
Preventing dental emergencies is always better than treating them. Athletes can take precautions, such as:
- Wear a mouthguard – Invest in a custom-made mouthguard for proper protection during sports. Over-the-counter mouthguards provide some protection as well, but a custom one is the best defense against dental injuries.
- Wear a helmet – When it comes to playing sports, wearing a helmet is crucial to prevent dental emergencies. It acts as a protective shield and reduces the risk of any facial bone or tooth damage caused by unexpected hits or facial collisions.
- Practice proper oral hygiene – Regularly brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is essential for maintaining good dental health. This applies to everyone regardless of whether they are an athlete or not.
- Get regular dental checkups – Having regular dental check-ups can help your dentist detect any issues with your teeth and gums, allowing for prompt treatment and prevention of dental emergencies.
About the Practice
Located in Parker, Dr. Rodney L. Allen is a family-oriented dental practice that offers a range of dental services. Whether you need routine checkups or emergency dental care, their team is dedicated to providing high-quality care for patients of all ages. If you’re an athlete and have experienced dental injuries during games, their emergency dental services can be a real lifesaver and get your smile back to its former glory. To make an appointment with Dr. Allen or for more information on his services, visit his website or call his office at (720) 851-6784.