The Journal of the American Dental Association has published that up to 39% of all dental injuries are sports-related, with dental injuries being the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. Furthermore, the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reported that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective athletic mouthguard. The various types of orofacial injuries that can occur during a sports mishap include, but are not limited to, tooth avulsion, tooth fracture, pulpal injury, mandibular injury, and concussion. Consequently, the use of a properly fitting athletic mouthguard is of paramount importance in preventing serious injuries with lifetime consequences.
Tooth avulsion involves the dislodging of the entire tooth out of the socket as a consequence of trauma. A custom-fitted athletic mouthguard serves to hold all the teeth in the mouth in place and acts as a cushion for the teeth to absorb forces of impact. In the unfortunate event of tooth avulsion, meticulous care for the avulsed tooth is critical in order to save it. The tooth must be handled only by the crown portion (the part that is displayed in the mouth), leaving the root portion untouched, rinsed with milk, and then soaked in a glass of milk. If milk is unavailable, then it is recommended that the tooth
While sports injuries do not always lead to the severe cases of tooth avulsion, they can nevertheless cause tooth fracture or pulpal (nerve) injury. A simple chip may occur on the tooth without injury to the nerve, and the extensiveness of the chip will govern whether the tooth requires a crown or a filling for restoration. In the event that there is
Lastly, trauma to the lower jaw can lead to a concussion—the most serious and life-threatening consequence of orofacial sports trauma. If
As detailed above, there can be costly and life-threatening consequences from sports trauma to the face. Gallegos Family Dentistry invites everyone who is active in sports, especially kids, to come in for a consultation for a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard. Only a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard can provide maximum comfort, adequate thickness, and thorough protection for all teeth. Take preventive measures against the possible costly and life-threatening aftermath of sports trauma!