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What to Do About a Dental Emergency While Playing Sports

A dental emergency while playing sports can be scary – and painful. Our Windsor dentists discuss common dental injuries athletes face, what to do and how to prevent them.

What are common dental injuries athletes face?

As a result of a blow to the head or face, the following dental injuries are common in athletes.

Knocked Out Tooth

We often see athletes on television and on the field with gaps in their teeth. This is because a knocked out tooth is a common sports injury.

If your tooth is knocked out, attempt to locate it as soon as possible. Pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the root. Rinse it off and place it back into the socket if you can, biting down gently to hold it in place.

If you are unable to replace the tooth, it must be kept 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

Take a hard hit from the wrong angle and you could suffer a fractured tooth root. In these cases, the crack originates from the roots of the tooth and makes its way up.

A fractured tooth root may cause no symptoms. Because they are hidden beneath the gum line, they may not be noticed until an infection grows in the pulp of the tooth.

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

Tooth Intrusion

Tooth intrusion is another painful condition that occurs when the tooth is driven back into the jawbone.

Children often experience this injury more than adults, as the alveolar bones that hold their tooth sockets are not as strong as those of adults.

Treatment will differ depending on whether it is a permanent tooth or a primary (baby) tooth. When it comes to primary teeth, the dentist will let the intruded tooth naturally erupt again as long as it doesn't encroach on the adult tooth that is still developing. The dentist will extract the tooth if it does not erupt again.

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 split or crack that starts at the crown and extends into the tooth itself is referred to as a cracked tooth. Sharp pain when biting down, sporadic tooth pain, and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures are all signs that you have a cracked tooth. It's also possible for you to have no 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.

How to prevent sports injuries

With a custom-made mouth guard, which acts as a barrier between your teeth and gums and protects your teeth from blows to the head or face, many dental emergencies that arise from sports injuries can be avoided.

If you play sports or engage in high-impact physical activities, talk to your dentist about a custom-made mouthguard today.

Do you have a dental sports injury or emergency? Contact our Windsor dentists right away. We can get you in as soon as possible.

(519) 977-6453