Common Dental Injuries In Sports And How To Safeguard Against Them

Common Dental Injuries In Sports And How To Safeguard Against Them

Participating in sports is important for your physical and mental well-being. But caring for your body is equally important while you play. Unfortunately, dental injuries are one of the most common mishaps that take place in sports.

Dental injuries

Athletes and sportspersons often overlook their dental health. Dental injuries can have a significant impact on an athlete’s performance and well-being. That’s why one must safeguard himself against such dental mishappenings.

If you are stepping into the world of sports, we will acquaint you with some common dental injuries in sports and how you can protect yourself from them. But first, let’s take a look at what factors can cause these injuries.

Causes Of Dental Injuries In Sports Persons And Athletes

Here are some factors that lead to dental injuries on the field.

Lack of Protective Gear

Failing to wear appropriate protective gear, such as mouthguards and face shields, puts dental health at risk.

Contact Sports

Sports that involve physical contact or collision often lead to dental mishaps. These sports generally include football, hockey, and martial arts.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Athletes with poor dental hygiene may have weaker teeth. So, they are more vulnerable to dental injuries.

Facial Impact

Direct impact on the face can cause dental injuries. Such instances can take place even in non-contact sports like basketball and soccer.

What Are The Common Dental Injuries In Sports?

Sport dental

There is not one but many dental kinds of dental accidents that can take place while you play. Here are the most common dental injuries that many athletes suffer from.

Broken Teeth

It is not uncommon for players to end their game with a broken tooth or teeth. A sudden impact to the jaw, collision with another player, or a hard fall can lead to broken teeth. Teeth can also crack and chip.

Fractured Jaws

Fractured jaws can occur in high-contact sports. An athlete engaged in sports involving high-velocity balls or equipment is also at risk of jaw fracture. Such injuries are painful and require an immediate visit to the dentist.

Tooth Intrusion

Sometimes, a tooth can get forced into the jawbone because of a strong impact. This type of dental injury is the case of tooth intrusion. Depending upon the intensity of the intrusion, it can be very serious. The injury may even lead to nerve damage.

Tooth Avulsion

Tooth Avulsion is a situation where the tooth/ teeth get completely knocked out. It is one of the most traumatic dental injuries, and you’ll need to see your dentist to get it fixed.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Athletes may also experience cuts, lacerations, and bruises to the soft tissues in and around the mouth These types of injuries result from sudden movements, collisions, or overexertion. Such injuries affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues.

Root Fractures

Root fractures occur when the root of a tooth gets damaged. These fractures can be challenging to detect and may lead to infection if you leave them untreated.

Dental Concussions

Dental concussions take place because of a powerful blow to the head. These lead to pain and sensitivity in the affected tooth.

Whatever the type of dental injury, it can lead to pain and discomfort. Dental accidents often interfere with an athlete’s performance and cause mental, physical, and emotional unrest.

Of course, there are high chances of encountering common dental problems on the field. But it does not mean that these are unavoidable.

Safeguarding Against Dental Injuries – The Importance Of Mouthguards

Mouthguards play a crucial role in preventing dental injuries in sports. They act as a cushion and absorb the impact of blows to the face.

Mouthguards offer excellent protection to your teeth and jaws. Using these protective gears while you play manifolds your chances of finishing your game without injury.

There are several types of mouthguards available for athletes. The common ones include the following.

Stock Mouthguards

Stock Mouthguards

Stock mouthguards come pre-formed and ready to use. But they may not always provide the best fit and may feel uncomfortable.

Boil-And-Bite Mouthguards

Boil-and-Bite mouthguards are put to soften in hot water and molded to fit the athlete’s teeth. They offer a better fit than stock mouthguards.

Custom Mouthguards

Dentists design custom mouthguards to fit the athlete’s teeth perfectly. These types of mouthguards offer the highest level of protection and comfort.

Preventive Measures For Dental Injuries In Sports

Apart from wearing mouthguards, athletes can take the below-mentioned preventive measures to protect their dental health.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups will allow dentists to identify any potential issues early. The dentist will provide the necessary treatments in such cases.

Wearing Appropriate Protective Gear

In addition to mouthguards, athletes should wear appropriate helmets and face shields. They should also put on other protective gear specific to their sport.

Properly Fitted Mouthguards

Choosing a properly fitted mouthguard is essential for comfort and protection. Go with the custom mouthguards, as they offer the best fit.

Dental Hygiene And Oral Care

Poor oral health can impact an athlete’s performance. All athletes should focus on maintaining good dental hygiene as it helps strengthen teeth. They should regularly brush, floss, and avoid sugary foods.

Proper Training Techniques

Sports people should train with proper techniques. The right form helps in minimizing the risk of collisions and facial impacts.

Nutrition And Hydration

Diet teeth

A balanced diet and proper hydration enhance oral health and strengthen teeth.

What To Do Right After A Dental Injury?

If you have suffered a blow to your teeth on the field, give yourself immediate dental treatment. You can begin by gently cleaning the injured area with water. Using a cold compress can reduce swelling.

If a tooth is broken or knocked out, handle it by the crown (top part) and avoid touching the root. Try to put the broken tooth back into the socket after washing it with saline solution or milk.

After this immediate dental first aid, it’s important to visit the dentist. The dentist will be able to assess the damage to your dental health and the intensity of the injury. He will also suggest an appropriate treatment option, such as dental restoration, orthodontic treatment, cosmetic dentistry, or any other that you will require.

Final Thoughts

Neglecting dental health can have adverse consequences for athletes. Dental injuries affect an athlete’s performance and confidence.

But athletes don’t always need to live under pressure to protect themselves from dental injuries. All they need to do is to take steps to safeguard themselves from such injuries. Mouthguards are an effective preventive measure. Every sportsperson should use them.

Athletes should also visit their dentists regularly to maintain their dental health. After all, protecting dental health is not just about safeguarding teeth. It is also about ensuring athletes can continue to excel in their chosen sports with confidence and enjoyment.