It doesn’t really matter what sport you’re involved in, it’s possible to experience a dental injury. Sports are one of the most common causes of injuries to the mouth and jaw. It’s important to be able to recognize an injury, when it requires treatment, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Recognizing injuries
There are a variety of ways that your oral health can be damaged when participating in a sport. Here are some of the most common injuries that may occur:

  • Chipped tooth, where a portion of the tooth is broken off.
  • Displaced tooth, which means the tooth isn’t knocked out but appears crooked, shorter, or longer.
  • Knocked out tooth, where the tooth is completely dislodged.
  • Fractured teeth, in which the tooth is cracked either vertically or horizontally.
  • Infection, sometimes caused by damage to the tooth and can end up affecting your overall health.

Treating injuries
Sports injuries require seeing your dentist as soon as possible. Even if you’re unsure and think it doesn’t seem severe, it’s best to have a dental injury examined by a professional. You may be able to avoid further damage or be able to save a tooth. If the tooth is harmed beyond repair, a tooth extraction might be necessary but it’s best to have it performed by a dentist to avoid infection. If you lose a tooth during the injury itself, you should locate the tooth and bring it with you to the dentist in hopes that it can be implanted back in your mouth.

Preventing injuries

Some sports dental injuries are avoidable, or at least you can lessen the severity, by following these tips:

  • Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
  • Wear a helmet, which can protect your head as well as your jaw.
  • See your dentist regularly, which promotes healthy teeth and gums so that they are strong before you play a sport. A healthy mouth will be less prone to infections.

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