According to the America Dental Association, approximately 15 million Americans experience a sports related injury each year. About 10% of players will end up with a dental facial injury in any given season.
Top 3 injuries from sports accidents:
1) CRACKED TEETH: A sport related blow to the head or face can result in a cracked/fractured tooth. With a cracked tooth you may experience symptoms such as:
- Sharp pain upon biting
- Tooth pain that comes and goes
- Pain while eating and drinking, particularly with HOT and COLD food
- The loss of a section of enamel, exposing the underlying layers of your tooth
The crack may or may not be visible to the naked eye. You may or may not experience pain. Typically, during your next dental exam will the damage be discovered. (Just another good reason to stay on schedule with regular dental checkups).
Depending on the location and depth of the crack, it could require as little as a filling or as much as an extraction (if the crack goes into the pulp/nerve chamber of the tooth.
2) FRACTURED ROOTS: If a blow to the head or face is received at a certain angle, it could possibly cause a fractured root. In this case, instead of the crack beginning at the chewing surface and moving down to the root, it begins at the root and works its way upward. Because these cracks may invisible to the naked eye, you may not realize there’s a problem until an infection So, if you’ve had head or facial trauma, it’s always best to get it looked at sooner rather than later, even in the event of having no immediate symptoms.
3) TOOTH INTRUSION: Typically, sports related accidents are associated with getting teeth knocked out, but not always. Sometimes, these types of injuries can push teeth further up INTO the jawbone. This type of trauma is called an Intrusion. This type of healing can cause discomfort for some time. Some complications from this type of trauma include:
- Damaging the tooth pulp/nerve either by necrosis (dying) or being damaged beyond repair
- Resorption (shortening) of the root
- Ankylosis (fusion) of the injured tooth root to the supporting bone.
Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard can help protect from these injuries. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) estimates that players who do not wear protective mouthguards are 60 times MORE LIKELY to have tooth damage during playing. So- if you are reading this BEFORE you have a sports related accident, call us and have one made! You won’t regret it!