If you’re an athlete, it’s easy to wind up dealing with some serious dental emergencies while trying to play the best game that you can. This is obviously the case in contact sports, but even some non-contact sports like basketball can get rough enough to cause problems from time to time.
For that reason, athletes need to be even more conscientious than others about protecting their teeth. Here are a few dental emergencies you may want to watch out for, along with what you can do about them.
What Dental Emergencies Are Common Among Athletes?
While athletes obviously aren’t protected from infection or decay-based toothaches, they have to pay special attention to the possibility of dental emergencies being caused by accidents. For example:
- Chipped or Cracked Teeth: They may be connected here, but a chip and crack aren’t quite the same thing. A chip involves a corner of the tooth being broken off, while cracks happen near the roots. While you may not even feel a chipped tooth, cracked teeth tend to be pretty uncomfortable. However, one can very easily lead to the other, and both can create edges on your teeth that can cut your mouth. For that reason, both require professional attention.
- Fractured Root: If you get hit in the face or cheek, the damage may be to the root under the tooth as opposed to the tooth itself. While you may not notice the damage initially, leaving a fractured root untreated can lead to serious discomfort or infection down the line.
- Tooth Intrusion: If you’re hit at an unlucky angle, it’s possible for the tooth to actually be pushed into the jawbone. This does serious and immediate damage to the tooth root, meaning that you should seek professional attention as soon as you can.
- Avulsed Teeth: This is the medical term for a tooth that has completely left its socket. In this case, you should clean the tooth and head to your nearest dentist. If you can, you should place the tooth in a glass of either milk or saltwater until you can get to the dentist’s office. This will preserve the root, making it much more likely that your dentist will be able to replace it.
About the Author
Dr. Deborah Bishop is an endodontic specialist who cares deeply about her work, and her commitment to her field has allowed her to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques in oral medicine. She received her degree from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, then completed her endodontic residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is currently a member of the Alabama Dental Association and the Southern Endodontic Study Group.
If you have any questions about dental emergencies, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (256) 882-5161.