Common Tooth Injuries in Athletes
People involved in contact and combat sports face numerous risks for injury. This includes injuries to the mouth that affect the teeth and gums. Thankfully our Philadelphia, PA dental practice offers restorative dentistry procedures to repair tooth damaged and replace missing teeth.
The Artistic Expressions Dentistry team would like to consider a few common tooth injuries associated with athletes. Dr. Bruce Wilderman will be more than happy to discuss your treatment options during the consultation process.
Chipped and Fractured Teeth
Your teeth could be fractured from a sudden blow to the face or head, or from falls that cause your mouth to shut abruptly. The extent of the fracture can range from a minor chip or crack to the loss of a portion of the crown of a tooth.
Treating Fractured Teeth
If a large portion of the tooth has been fractured and broken off, preserve it in milk or water. A dentist may be able to mend the tooth fragment with your remaining structure. If not, restorations such as fillings, bonding, inlays, onlays, or crowns may be used to rebuild the tooth.
Fractured Tooth Roots
In addition to the crown of a tooth being damaged, oral trauma may be severe enough to damage the tooth roots. This typically occurs when the length of the crack or chip extends below the gumline.
Treating Tooth Roots
When treating damaged tooth roots, endodontic therapy is usually required. This will help prevent tooth infection and relieve pain when biting and chewing. If the tooth root cannot be saved or fixed, extraction may be recommended.
The trauma to the tooth may be so severe that it gets knocked out completely. Tooth loss is a major risk in combat sports and full-contact sports. Thankfully there are many options for treating tooth loss.
Treating Tooth Loss
If possible, clean off the knocked out tooth with water and preserve it in a cup of milk or water. A dentist may be able to resocket the tooth if a person visits the dentist in time for immediate care. If a missing tooth cannot be put back into place, a dental bridge or an implant-supported crown may be placed.
A much rarer type of dental injury, tooth intrusion occurs when a tooth is knocked back into the jawbone. Rather than losing the tooth, the root and crown is driven into the bone structure. This can lead to infection of the dental pulp, shortening of the tooth root, and other serious issues.
Treating Tooth Intrusion
When treating tooth intrusion, endodontic therapy or oral surgery may be recommended based on the nature of the damage. Tooth extraction could be recommended as well. A dentist will work to treat all damaged tissues in these kinds of injuries, and attempt to save the tooth when possible.
Custom Athletic Mouth Guards for Preventative Care
In order to prevent the above tooth injuries, we recommend that athletes wear sports retainers while training or in actual competition. Custom sports mouth guards can be made at our office, which means increased comfort and protection as you’re being active.
Learn More About Treating Dental Injuries
For more information about treating dental injuries and improving the health of your smile, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at Artistic Expressions Dentistry is here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (215) 340-1199.