Dental Injuries in Sports and How to Prevent Them

Every year, traumatic dental injuries affect around 15 million Americans, as stated by the American Dental Assistants’ Association. Athletics account for about a third of these injuries. This leads to the loss of over five million teeth annually. It highlights the importance of “sports dental injury prevention”.

Engaging in high-contact sports exposes your body to potential hazards. Your teeth and gums, in particular, are vulnerable. On average, 1 in 10 people who play sports face the risk of facial and dental injury. Protecting yourself when engaging in these activities is crucial.

Remember, safety should always be your priority. These sorts of traumatic injuries can result in:

  • Chipping, cracking, or loss of the whole tooth
  • Excruciating pain and hypersensitivity
  • Gum swelling
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Limited mouth mobility

High-contact sports can lead to dental trauma. When this happens, immediate emergency dental care is crucial.

The pain can be intense, but what’s worse is that many of these injuries are avoidable. Not wearing a mouthguard during sports raises the chance of dental injuries, says the American Dental Association. In fact, dental injuries increase by 60 times. However, approximately 84% of young sportspeople do not utilize these gadgets.

Preventing “dental trauma in high-contact sports” is possible with the right precautions. One of the effective “orthodontic treatment options” is using a sports occlusal guard. A simple step can make a significant difference in protecting athletes from dental injuries.

Read on to understand sports-related dental injuries, learn prevention methods, and find reliable help to prevent them.

MOST COMMON  Sports-Related Dental Injuries

Most Common

Sports-Related Dental Injuries

Sports with high physical contact naturally pose a higher risk of injuries, including orofacial ones. However, even sports with lower contact aren’t completely safe.

The Junior American Dental Association conducted a study. The study found that male college basketball players had a higher risk of dental injury. They compared this risk to football players.

This finding is quite surprising. Therefore, “emergency care for sports dental injuries” is crucial in all sports, not just high-contact ones. Being aware of the risk of a "sports injury" in any athletic activity is important.

We often assume that sports with high physical contact naturally pose a higher risk of injury, including orofacial injuries. However, even sports with lower contact levels aren’t completely safe. The Junior American Dental Association conducted a study.

They compared this risk to football players. In basketball, the risk of a “knocked out tooth” or “tooth fractures” is significant. Even a “permanent tooth” can be at risk. Understanding these risks and taking appropriate precautions is crucial.

Not wearing a mouthguard can lead to many dental injuries. Here are some of the most common suffered in sports:

  • Cracked/chipped tooth : Often results from unexpected blows to the face. This can cause sharp pain, erode pieces of enamel, and expose the nerves, roots, and pulp.
  • Tooth intrusion : This occurs when a tooth is partially driven into the bone. Can cause displacement, painful nerve pressure, bleeding, and in some cases, necrotic infection.
  • Tooth avulsion : Complete dislodgement and displacement of teeth. May cause severe pain, lacerated bleeding, disorientation, and infection.
  • Fractured root : Trauma to the dental roots. Usually not visible, though you may notice pain when biting, a draining sinus tract that looks like an ulcer, or subtle cracks in the enamel.

If you suffer an injury, seek immediate emergency care. An endodontist, a specialist in these injuries, will provide the care. This care could involve a root canal treatment, reattachment, or stabilization with a splint. They might also suggest replacement implants, prescribe medication, or recommend additional surgical procedures if necessary.

Remember, maintaining your oral health is crucial, especially when wearing braces and Invisalign. Lingual braces, in particular, require special attention. Including these keywords in your daily oral health routine can help prevent such injuries.

Avoid delaying if you have a displaced tooth. If you wait too long, root resorption or irritation may occur, making it impossible to reattach the tooth. You can prevent these traumatic dental injuries.

How? By taking one simple step: wear a mouthguard. This step helps avoid facial trauma and protects your permanent teeth. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

WHERE CAN I GET A  Custom Sports Mouthguard

Where Can I Get a

Custom Sports Mouthguard?

You can find stock mouthguards for sports and conventional orthodontics at any retailer, online or offline. However, a licensed dentist or orthodontist can provide you with personalized, custom-fit sports mouthguards. These custom-fit guards offer better protection for your alveolar bone. Custom-fit mouthguards cost more but are worth it because dental professionals have the necessary expertise.

  • Design a durable appliance
  • Design an appliance that uniquely fits your bite
  • Determine if any other underlying issues could be at play

Like most conventional orthodontic   occlusal guards , they are typically made from cured plastics and/or vinyls, which are molded from an impression the provider takes of your dental shape. However, protective sports mouthguards can reinforce multiple layers to create extra thickness, shielding, and stability, unlike those conventional guards.

Occlusal guards for sports protection cost less than those designed to treat TMD and bruxism. Both types of occlusal guards are more affordable than emergency dental care expenses. Get your occlusal guard today, and protect your teeth like you protect your head with a bike helmet.

CAN I WEAR A  Sports Mouthguard At Night To Treat Other Conditions

Can I Wear A

Sports Mouthguard At Night To Treat Other Conditions?

No. Sports mouthguards cannot replace custom fit occlusal guards for  bruxism treatment or TMD pain relief , nor should anyone use a mouthguard for multiple purposes.

Dentists design sports occlusal guards for short-term use, and athletes typically wear them for only an hour or two. Wearing them for eight hours overnight can strain and potentially worsen TMD as they slightly prop the bite open. Additionally, these guards often cover above the gumline, leading to potential bacteria buildup when worn for extended periods.

Conversely, occlusal guards for TMD and bruxism are thinner and cover just below the gumline. However, they do not provide sufficient protection for high-contact sports, such as absorbing impacts from a ball, puck, punch, slip, trip, or tackle.

Seek advice from a dentist or orthodontist to obtain the appropriate instrument for the task. They can make a custom guard for your specific needs and give extra support.