As the weather changes, kids, teens, and adults alike are shifting into a new season of sports. Our athletes participating in football, field hockey, soccer, and other potentially aggressive contact sports are all at risk for several kinds of injuries, including dental. According to the American Dental Assistants Association, 5 million Americans lose teeth in sports-related injuries every year.
Your Bethesda dentist wants to share the kinds of tooth injuries that athletes can suffer from and the complications connected to them. No matter the sport, it’s always important to wear the necessary protective gear that can help avoid any traumatic injuries.
Chipped and/or Cracked Teeth
When a player sustains an abrupt blow to the face, they’re extremely likely to suffer from a cracked or fractured tooth. This can vary in levels of severity, but the pain is very real! If an athlete doesn’t wear a mouthguard or any other protective gear used to shield the facial area, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that they’re 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. This damage can also turn into long-term issues, all which can be avoided with the right safety gear.
With a cracked tooth, some of the symptoms you may suffer from include:
• Sharp tooth pain when you bite down on something, although it dissipates after
• Dull, aching tooth pain that comes and goes, but isn’t constantly present
• Pain and difficulty eating and drinking, especially with extremely cold/hot foods
Fractured Roots of Your Tooth
Tooth injuries aren’t only limited to the visible part of your smile. Damage can be done to the inside of your teeth where the roots reside. If a crack in your tooth exposes the inside of your tooth, any sort of bacteria or food particles can worm their way inside and force you to deal with a lot of pain. In this area, infections can grow and spread faster than you may realize. Saving your tooth with a root canal treatment may be the next step in protecting your smile.
Tooth Being Knocked Out (or Knocked In)
There are some famous hockey players with smiles to remember – mostly because they could be missing one of their front teeth! The aggressive contact of many sports can cause a tooth to be knocked out, but it’s also possible for a tooth to be shoved back into the jawbone area instead.
The chances of a tooth being knocked in, also known as tooth intrusion, have a low likelihood, but it’s still an extreme dental injury involving your permanent teeth that should be considered. While the chances are low, it’s still more likely to happen to children since the area that holds the tooth sockets don’t have the same strength as an adult’s.
Sports-related dental injuries have the potential to cause long-term dental problems, no matter what age, so your Bethesda dentist strongly advises all athletes to wear the proper protective gear like mouthguards and helmets with facial protection. If you have any questions about finding the best gear to save your smile for a particular sport, don’t hesitate to call us today at (301) 652-3997 and we’ll be happy to help.