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What to Do About a Dental Emergency While Playing Sports

We know that you take precautions to protect yourself when playing sports but accidents can still happen. Our Manitoba dentists share some of the most common injuries while playing sports and what to do if you have a dental emergency.

What types of injuries can happen while playing sports?

Here are some of the most commonly seen dental injuries in athletes:

Knocked Out Teeth

When you look at many athletes you may notice that a large number of them have gaps where they are missing teeth. This is because a knocked-out tooth is a common sports injury.

The first thing that you should do if your tooth gets knocked out is to find it. Be sure to avoid touching the root when you pick it up. Rinse it off and place it back into the socket if you can, biting down gently to hold it in place.

If you are not able to put it back in the socket yourself then you will be to keep it moist until you are seen by the dentist. Place the tooth in a cup of milk (not water) or your saliva, or in your mouth next to your cheek until you can get to your dentist’s office.

Ideally, you’ll get to the dentist’s office within 30 minutes of the injury. If you see your dentist quickly enough, they may be able to save your tooth.

Fractured Tooth Roots

Take a hard hit from the wrong angle and you could suffer a fractured tooth root. When this happens the crack in your tooth begins far down below the surface and makes its way up the tooth.

It’s possible that you won’t feel any symptoms from a fractured tooth root. Since they are hidden below the gum line, they sometimes only become apparent when an infection grows in the pulp of the tooth.

A tooth canal is necessary for patients that have experienced a fractured tooth root in order to avoid any potential infection or further complications.

Tooth Intrusion

One injury that can occur is tooth intrusion. Where your tooth is forced back into the jawbone due to a heavy blow.

Children often experience this injury more than adults, as the alveolar bones that hold their tooth sockets are not as strong as those of adults.

Depending on whether it is a primary (baby) tooth or a permanent one, treatment will vary. In primary teeth, the dentist will allow the intruded tooth to spontaneously re-erupt, provided that it has not intruded into the developing adult tooth. If the tooth does not re-erupt, the dentist will remove it.

If you experience tooth intrusion then your dentist may attempt to allow the tooth to re-emerge on its own. If re-eruption does not happen, surgical or orthodontic re-eruption treatment can be performed, along with endodontic treatment.

Cracked/Damaged Tooth

A cracked tooth involves a split or crack that begins at the crown and extends down into the tooth. If you have a cracked tooth, you may experience sharp pain when you bite down, intermittent tooth pain, or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. You may also not experience any symptoms at all.

Depending on the type of crack and its severity, your dentist may repair it with a crown, filling or dental bonding. In very severe cases, a root canal or extraction may be necessary. You should contact your dentist as soon as you can..

What are some ways to prevent injuries while playing sports?

You can help avoid potential dental injuries by wearing a dental appliance such as a sports mouthguard. This can help protect the teeth in the event that you do suffer a blow to the face during your activities.

If you play sports or engage in high-impact physical activities, talk to your dentist about a custom-made mouthguard today.

Do you think that you might be experiencing a dental emergency? Contact our Manitoba dentists right away.

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