How To Treat Dental Injuries Caused By Summer Sports

dental-injuries-summer

With 13-39% of dental injuries being sports-related, there is a significant risk of dental injury when taking to the field this summer. It’s important to understand the types of possible injuries that could happen and what to do if such injury occurs. Often, they will occur when least expected, so knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is critical.

The most common sports injuries treated by dentists are fractured or broken teeth, displaced or knocked-out teeth, and jaw injuries. Whether it’s an elbow to the face, hitting the ground hard, or colliding with another player, there is a variety of ways that a dental injury could happen. And if it does, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm.

Listed below are the suggested care instructions according to each injury.

FRACTURED OR BROKEN TEETH

  • Locate the broken pieces and store them in water or cold milk
  • If you see a dental professional within 24 hours, it may be possible to reattach the broken portions
  • Take medication as needed for pain

DISPLACED TEETH

  • Make an appointment to see a dental professional as soon as you can
  • If possible, and without causing further damage or pain, try to reposition the displaced tooth.

KNOCKED-OUT TEETH

  • Make an appointment to see a dental professional as soon as you can
  • Hold the knocked-out tooth by the crown (the wide part of the tooth) instead of the root
  • Rinse the tooth but avoid touching the root as much as possible
  • Place the knocked-out tooth in its socket within 5 or 10 minutes; cover it with gauze or tissue and have the patient bite down to hold it in place
  • Alternatively, the tooth may briefly be stored in cold milk
  • Do NOT let the tooth dry out; it can usually be saved if these instructions are followed and the injury is treated within an hour

JAW INJURIES

Depending upon the nature of the injury, follow these instructions:

  • If the teeth fit properly together when the mouth is closed, apply ice to diminish swelling and take pain relievers (anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, are best) as needed
  • If the teeth do not fit properly together when the mouth is closed, immediately seek emergency care; gently align the jaws and immobilize them with a bandage under the chin and secure over the head
  • Apply ice to the area to diminish swelling

Here at Austin Family Dentistry, our family dental team is able to treat most dental injuries. We would love to visit with you and your child about the proper mouth guard for his or her team sport to help diminish the risk of a dental emergency. And, in the event of injuries requiring the care of an oral surgeon, we will work diligently to help set you up with a priority consultation. Click HERE to schedule an appointment!