Sports dentistry focuses on prevention and treatment of sports-related dental injuries and oral diseases. Injuries to the teeth and mouth are common among athletes. Prevention is key, and your dentist can recommend equipment to help protect the teeth, mouth, jaw, and face for athletes of all ages. It's important to protect your child's smile if he or she plays sports, for cosmetic as well as health reasons.
Common Sports-Related Dental Injuries & Treatment
- Time is of the essence when a tooth has been knocked out. In general, there is a 30-minute window of opportunity to re-implant the tooth in the socket. If a tooth has been knocked out, get to the dentist as soon as possible.
- Do not try to re-implant the tooth yourself.
- The best liquid to transport a tooth in is cold milk. If milk is not available, use saliva (if possible), saline, or if nothing else is available, water.
- Don't let the tooth dry out and don't wrap it in anything.
- Don't touch the tooth root if you can avoid it.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
- The first step is generally an X-ray so your dentist can determine the appropriate treatment.
- For a serious chip that exposes the pulp of the tooth, get to your dentist as soon as possible.
- If a tooth is chipped or cracked, sometimes the tooth can be fixed with a filling or bonding alone.
- Sometimes a tooth is cracked or chipped in a way affecting the nerve of the tooth, and a more complicated treatment may be needed.
- If a tooth is moved due to trauma, see your dentist as soon as possible.
- Do not try to move the tooth back on your own.
- For any mouth discomfort before you get to the dentist, apply ice.
One of the most effective ways to prevent injury to wear a mouthguard while playing sports. There are several types of mouthguards to choose from, and your doctor can help you choose the best one for your particular needs.