Dan's Dentistry Blog

« Back to Home

What Are the Three Risks That You Take to your Dentition Whenever You Participate in an Active Sport?

Posted on

If you're an active sportsman or woman, you will know that you have a certain amount of risk whenever you participate in your chosen activity. If it's a contact sport, then your risk of injury increases significantly and you need to be as prepared as possible for such an eventuality. This doesn't mean that you should shy away from what you love, but simply that you should know what to do if an injury was to occur. In particular, you may be at risk of injury to your dentition. What kind of problems could you encounter and how should you proceed if you're unlucky enough to be involved?

Three Areas to Look at

Broadly speaking, you can classify dental injuries received on the sporting field into three different categories.

Soft Tissue Injuries

In the first instance, you could sustain an injury to the soft tissue which includes the tongue, gums, cheeks and the lips. Start off by getting somebody to inspect the injury, to make sure that there are no small pieces of tooth or dirt within the wounds. These will then need to be carefully cleaned, but if you have some more extensive lacerations then stitches may well be necessary. Whenever a puncture wound is in evidence, tetanus shots may be called for and you may have to undertake a course of antibiotics.

Jaw Damage

Sometimes, an impact can be so severe that it affects the jaw, causing dislocation or even a fracture. If the dislocation is fairly simple, then it can be easier to correct, but if it's more extensive then scanning will be necessary. In the case of a fracture, this may be splinted together with the surrounding area, but if it's more extensive then this again may require the attention of a specialist. A dentist called a maxillofacial surgeon can be called in. They will look at the area using the latest imaging technology before determining how to proceed.

Dental Injuries

The third area to consider is damage to the teeth themselves. This can be very simple or more complex, once again depending on the type and angle of impact. Sometimes, it may just result in a chipped tooth, or a more complex fracture and dislocation. If the outer layer of the tooth is broken, the dentin and the enamel may be impacted. When the inner part is exposed, a dentist will have to work quickly to try and save the tooth, by treating any exposed nerve tissues and sealing it up.

Getting Advice

If your injury is anything but superficial, have a word with a dentist as soon as possible to describe the symptoms and be advised of the best course of action.