Among athletes, injuries involving the teeth and mouth are very common. Sports dentistry deals with both the treatment and prevention of dental injuries and related oral diseases, as well as sharing information and equipment designed to help protect an athlete’s teeth, jaw, mouth, face. Sports dentistry is used for athletes of all ages.
It is very important to protect your smile or your child’s smile if he/she is an athlete, and not just for aesthetic purposes.
Many tooth injuries require immediate treatment to save the tooth or prevent further injury. If you or your child will be participating in a game too far from your regular dentist, see that an emergency option is available as a precaution.
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From little league to professional football and everything in between, teeth get knocked out on a regular basis. When dealing with a tooth that’s been forced out of a person’s mouth, time is the most important factor if you are concerned about saving the tooth.
If the tooth is intact, there is an approximate 30-minute window of opportunity it can be re-implanted into the socket so, make sure you get to a dentist as quickly as possible and whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to reimplant the tooth yourself.
If available, the very best liquid to transport a tooth in is cold milk. Other options are saliva, saline and if nothing else, plain water.
You must prevent the tooth from drying out so don’t wrap it in anything as this could speed up the drying process such as a napkin or tissue.
Also, avoid touching the root area of the tooth and scraping the root.
For a severe chip that has exposed the pulp (nerve tissue) of the tooth, get to your dentist as soon as possible. Since injuries of this type vary, your dentist will likely take an X-ray of the tooth and use that to determine the proper course of treatment.
When a tooth has been chipped or cracked, sometimes it can be fixed with a filling or bonding procedure alone. If the crack or chip is affecting the nerve of the tooth, further restoration may be needed in the form of a dental crown, root canal or other treatment.
Sometimes a tooth will actually be forced to an adjacent area of the mouth. In these cases, you should also see your dentist immediately and DO NOT try to move the tooth back into its original location on your own.
For pain relief, before you get to the dentist, apply ice to the affected area.
If you play a sport, you already know what protective equipment you may need to protect your body from injury. Pads, helmets, proper footwear, gloves, etc. All of these are designed to ensure your safety during play. Just make sure, when you’re gearing up to protect yourself, you remember to protect your teeth as well.
The best possible way to avoid injury from sports, aside from not participating in the sport, is by adding the use of a mouth guard to your regular equipment list. There are several types of mouth guards to choose from, and your dentist can assist you in choosing the right one for you or your child’s needs.
Of course, the standard boil then bite guard available at sports supply stores can be very effective, especially if you are a recreational athlete versus a school or professional athlete.
But, if you are looking for a better fit and optimum protection, dental practices have the ability to fabricate a custom guard that is based on your personal dental impression. The result is a snug and comfortable fit.
A MOUTHFUL OF FEARLESS…that is the Shock Doctor claim to fame!
A leader in the Mouth Guard industry for technological advances, Shock Doctor mouth guards uses a special custom-fit technology to incorporate every attribute necessary for the highest performance possible.
Their “Pro-Fit layers and 3D anti-shock jaws pads” allow an athlete to get a comfortable and secure fit like no other and allows easy speech and breathing throughout the entire game.
Overall, when dealing with a sport related dental issue they often involve an emergency situation. Emergency dental situations include any trauma to the mouth that has caused bleeding and lacerations to the gums, or displacement, dislodgement or fracturing of a tooth.
When this occurs, immediate attention is usually required to prevent additional injury or permanent damage. It is important to see a dentist immediately since, if it’s left untreated, a dental emergency may lead to more serious complications.