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July 21, 2021

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Did you know that close to 15 million Americans experience some type of sports-related dental injury each year? Unfortunately, some of these injuries can lead to serious long-term health issues. As an athlete, it’s crucial to take proper precautions and protect your smile while playing. Read on as we discuss the three most common oral injuries in sports and ways to prevent them.

Top 3 Oral Injuries in Sports

About 10 percent of players will sustain a dental or facial injury in any given athletic season. Here are the three most common injuries:

Cracked Teeth

One blow to the face could result in a cracked or fractured tooth. If a tooth has cracks that appear across the tooth, they’re called “craze lines” and aren’t considered high risk for oral health. But if a tooth’s split begins at the crown and extends downward, then it’s a cracked tooth. Since it’s not always visible to the naked eye, you might have one and not experience any pain. So, if you have been hit in the face or mouth, it’s a good idea to schedule a dental visit right away to have your mouth assessed for signs of damage.

Fractured Roots

Depending on the angle at which an athlete received a blow, it can cause a fractured root. These cracks begin at the root level and work their way up to the tooth’s visible surface. Because these fractures are typically invisible, you may only notice the problem once an infection develops. Patients may need root canal therapy to prevent the infection from spreading to the pulp. If you fail to seek treatment, it could lead to tooth loss.

Tooth Intrusion

Sports injuries are usually associated with teeth getting knocked out. However, sometimes the impact can drive teeth back into the jawbone. This type of trauma is called an intrusion and is much more common in primary teeth than adult teeth. Regardless, athletes of all ages are at risk of this injury, and the healing time can put you out of action for a long time.

How Can I Protect My Smile While Playing Sports?

When participating in sports, make sure you always protect your teeth and jaw with one (or both) of these items:

  • Mouthguards. They’re a must when playing any sport that involves bats, balls, sticks, or physical contact. Mouthguards prevent cut lips, broken teeth, and other types of damage to the mouth.
  • Helmets. A sturdy helmet with a faceguard gives you an added layer of protection in sports, such as football or hockey. Some sports, like baseball, may require special headgear.

It’s critical for athletes to maintain good oral health. By following these protective measures, you can keep your smile happy and healthy for many seasons to come!

About the Practice

Our team at P.A. Dental Arts believes in creating long-lasting, meaningful relationships with every patient. We use advanced technology and the latest techniques to provide high-quality dental care beyond what’s anywhere else. Visit our website or call (214) 383-5511 for more tips on how to protect your smile during an athletic season.