What to Do About a Dental Emergency While Playing Sports

It can be very scary and painful to get a dental injury from playing sports. In this blog, our Nanaimo dentists list some common dental injuries athletes face in sports, including ways to prevent them and what you should do if you encounter one of these emergencies.

Common Dental Injuries Athletes Obtain

The following dental injuries are common in athletes, as they are usually the result of a blow to the head or face.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Because a knocked-out tooth is a common injury in sports, we often see athletes on television and on the field with gaps in their teeth. 

If one of your teeth gets knocked out, do your best to find it as quickly as possible. When you locate it, pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the root. Rinse it off and if you are able, put it back into its socket and bite down gently to hold it in place.

If you can't get the tooth back into its socket, it’s essential to keep it moist. Place the tooth in a cup of milk (not water) or your saliva, or in your mouth next to your cheek until you can get to your dentist’s office.

Ideally, you’ll get to the dentist’s office within 30 minutes of the injury. If you see your dentist quickly enough, they may be able to save your tooth.

Fractured Tooth Roots

If your face takes a hard hit at the wrong angle you could end up with a fractured tooth.  In situations like these, the crack originates from the roots of the tooth and travels up.

There is a chance that you might not experience any symptoms from your fractured tooth root because many are hidden beneath the gum line. In some cases, they only become noticeable when an infection starts to form in the tooth's pulp. 

A patient with a tooth root fracture should have root canal therapy as soon as possible to prevent or treat the infection.

Tooth Intrusion

Another painful condition is tooth intrusion, and it occurs when the tooth is driven back into the jawbone.

This injury is seen in children more often than adults because the alveolar bones that hold their tooth sockets aren't as strong as adults.

The treatments used for this injury will depend on if it's a primary (baby) tooth or a permanent tooth. In primary teeth, the dentist will allow the intruded tooth to spontaneously re-erupt, provided that it has not intruded into the developing adult tooth. If the tooth does not re-erupt, it will have to be removed by your dentist.

A permanent intruded tooth will also be given the chance to passively re-erupt. If re-eruption does not happen, surgical or orthodontic re-eruption treatment can be performed, along with endodontic treatment.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth involves a split or crack that begins at the crown and extends down into the tooth. If you have a cracked tooth, you may experience sharp pain when you bite down, intermittent tooth pain, or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. You may also not experience any symptoms at all.

Depending on the type of crack and its severity, your dentist may repair it with a crown, filling, or dental bonding. In very severe cases, a root canal or extraction may be necessary. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries

A custom-made mouth guard has the ability to help athletes prevent many dental emergencies. These dental appliances act as a barrier between your gums and teeth and provide a cushion for your teeth in the event that you get hit in the face or head.

Reach out to your dentist today to ask about a custom-made mouthguard, if you play sports or engage in high-impact physical activities,

Contact our Nanaimo dentists immediately if you have encountered a dental injury or emergency while playing sports.

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