Your teeth are meant to last for a lifetime, which is why you commit to brushing and flossing at home and visiting your dentist regularly. A preventive approach is a great way to avoid common oral health issues. Unfortunately, you can’t protect your smile from everything, like a dental emergency. It’s estimated, at least 1 in 6 Americans has one annually. Although they can be caused by various factors, the Journal of the American Dental Association reports up to 39% of all oral health injuries to involve sports. You don’t need to stop participating in your favorite activity to preserve your smile. Here’s how you can safeguard your mouth from the top sports-related dental injuries.
Many dental emergencies result from an underlying oral health problem that hasn’t been treated, like a cavity. Often, the issue is ignored until treatment can’t be put off any longer. However, other dental emergencies don’t come with a warning. A blow to the mouth during a game of soccer or falling while riding your bike can lead to sports-related dental emergencies. Athletes are 60 times more likely to experience:
1. Cracked Teeth
Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body, and it’s also the only part that can’t regenerate itself. Sadly, research shows at least 66.1% of people have at least one cracked molar. Fractures are prevalent among athletes, especially those called “craze line,” which are caused by impact to the mouth. The superficial cracks can weaken the tooth over time, causing it to eventually split.
2. Fractured Roots
Trauma to the mouth at a certain angle can cause a root to break. As a result, it may not be visible until it turns into a serious toothache. Eventually, the crack will spread up to the crown, which can cause an infection. Although the tooth has been significantly damaged, your emergency dentist can still save it if you act fast.
3. Tooth Intrusion
You might believe a knocked-out tooth is among the top dental emergencies; however, intrusion is treated more often. Instead of the tooth being dislodged from the mouth, it’s pushed into the jawbone. Typically, this is more common in children than adults because of the baby teeth in the alveolar bone. Without immediate dental attention, the tooth can die.
The best way to prevent dental emergencies while still enjoying your favorite activity involves a quick trip to your dentist for an athletic mouthguard. It provides a protective barrier for your teeth, gums, and jaw to lessen the severity of the injury. In some cases, research shows it can also decrease the likeliness of a concussion. Give your smile the added layer of protection it needs to avoid an unplanned trip to your dentist.