November 9, 2022
Do you enjoy playing sports? Do you participate in track and field? If so, then you’ve likely learned how to condition and care for your muscles. That said, you might also want to prioritize your oral health. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, about 39% of dental injuries are sports-related. Read on to learn about the most common oral health injuries athletes sustain and tips on preventing a dental emergency in the future!
3 Common Dental Injuries Athletes Experience
Although urgent dental situations can happen to anyone, athletes are typically the most at-risk group. Here are several tooth-related injuries that are commonly associated with sports:
Did you know that about 5 million teeth are knocked out every year? If you ever experience this situation, be sure to remain calm, find your tooth, and notify your emergency dentist to schedule a same-day appointment. You can try to reinsert it back in its socket if it’s still intact. If not, store your tooth in a glass or container of milk or saline solution until your dental visit.
One accidental elbow or a rogue ball to the face and you can end up with a cracked tooth. Without treatment, the injury can worsen over time, resulting in severe discomfort and a higher chance of oral infection. If you notice sharp discomfort when biting down, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, or any other unusual symptoms, inform your dentist as soon as possible.
A sudden impact on your tooth can damage the roots as well as the crown side. When this happens, the injury will begin underneath the gum line and spread to the surface. Since the damage isn’t noticeable to the naked eye, you must seek out treatment as soon as you notice the first warning signs, such as inflammation and oral pain.
5 Ways for Athletes to Prevent Dental Emergencies
While dental emergencies aren’t always predictable or preventable, there are several measures to take that can help you reduce your risks. Athletes tend to follow best practices that benefit their smile, such as eating a vitamin-rich diet and drinking plenty of water. Here are a few other habits that can help keep your gums and teeth in pristine condition:
- Wear custom-made athletic mouthguards during contact and non-contact sports.
- Reduce your intake of beverages with high sugar content, like sports drinks.
- Avoid poor oral habits, such as smoking and using your teeth as tools.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, and rinsing with mouthwash frequently.
- Schedule dental checkups and cleanings every six months.
Prevention is one of the main ways to avoid dental emergencies, especially if you participate in sports. Keep these few tips in mind, and you should be able to enjoy your activities while keeping your pearly whites healthy and safe!
About the Author
Dr. Sienna Palmer earned her dental degree from the Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California. She’s also a proud member of several prominent groups like the American Dental Association and the Orange County Dental Society. She offers a wide range of high-quality services, including fillings, athletic mouthguards, periodontal therapy, and emergency dentistry. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call 949-365-0951.
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