Treatment of sports related dental injuries

of Sports related
dental injuries

Approximately 15 million Americans suffer dental injuries and 5 million teeth are avulsed, knocked out, each year annually in sports-related injuries. During a single athletic season, athletes have a 1 in 10 chance of su!ering a facial or dental injury. In fact, the lifetime risk of such an injury is estimated to be about 45% according to the National Youth Sports Foundation. They also report that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to experience trauma to the oral cavity.

If you experience a sports-related dental injury, it's important to take immediate action to minimize damage and ensure proper care. Here are the steps to follow

Stop the Activity

If you're actively participating in a sports event and sustain a dental injury, stop the activity immediately. Protect yourself from further harm.

Assess the Situation

Determine the severity of the injury. Common dental injuries in sports include broken or knocked-out teeth, lacerations to the mouth or lips, jaw fractures, and dislocated teeth.

Contact a Sports Dentist
or Healthcare Professional

It's essential to consult with a sports dentist or a healthcare professional experienced in treating dental injuries as soon as possible. In the case of severe injuries, you may need to go to an emergency room or urgent care facility. In less severe cases, a sports dentist may be able to provide prompt care.

Preserve a Knocked-Out Tooth

If a tooth is knocked out, handle it carefully by the crown (the top part) and avoid touching the root. Rinse it gently with clean water if it's dirty, but do not scrub it. Try to reinsert the tooth into its socket, or store it in a container of milk, saliva, or a tooth preservation product designed for this purpose. Time is crucial in saving a knocked-out tooth, so seek professional help immediately.

Manage Bleeding

If there is bleeding from the mouth or gums, apply gentle pressure with clean gauze or a clean cloth to control the bleeding. Continue to apply pressure until the bleeding stops or until you receive medical assistance.

Address Pain and Swelling: Over-the-counter pain relievers (like ibuprofen) and ice packs can help reduce pain and swelling.

Use a Mouthguard

In the future, use a custom-fitted mouthguard provided by a sports dentist to prevent future injuries. Mouthguards can significantly reduce the risk of dental injuries during sports.

Follow Professional Advice

Follow the treatment plan and recommendations provided by the sports dentist or healthcare professional. This may include additional dental work, such as repairing or replacing damaged teeth or treating other oral injuries.

Prevent Recurrence

Take measures to prevent further dental injuries in the future. Continue to wear appropriate protective gear, maintain good oral hygiene, and follow the dentist's recommendations for ongoing care.

It's essential to remember that dental injuries can vary in severity, so prompt professional assessment and treatment are crucial. Do not attempt to treat severe dental injuries on your own, and always consult a healthcare professional or sports dentist for proper care and guidance.