If you enjoy watching or participating in a lot of sports, you have probably seen teammates or favorite players rush towards a ball or bouncing puck and end up with knocked-out or shattered teeth.

If you live in Coconut Creek, Florida, injuries from sports like this occur regularly. They cause emergency dental care and may have negative long-term impacts on oral and overall wellness. But these wounds—as well as their consequences—might not be a necessary cost of competition.

What are the common injuries associated with sports?

There are three primary kinds of sports-related dental injuries. During a given season, athletes might get any of the following injuries:

  • Fractured Roots

A fractured root starts at the root level and travels up to the visible surface of the tooth when a tooth hits something at a specific angle. These fractures can often be unnoticed and might not show up until an infection develops. The severity of this type of tooth damage depends on where the fracture occurs along the root. 

The earlier you visit your dentist for root canal therapy, commonly referred to as endodontic treatment, to treat a fractured tooth root and stop an infection from progressing to the tooth pulp, the less likely it is that necrosis will cause you to lose the tooth. 

  • Tooth intrusion

While many people correlate sports injuries to lost teeth, some injuries may actually force teeth back into the jawbone. The term “intrusion” refers to this type of dental trauma. Although it usually impacts baby teeth more often, but athletes of all ages may suffer this kind of injury, and recovering from it can keep you out of the game for a long while. 

This injury may result in tooth pulp death or destruction (necrosis) or irreversible damage. Together with ankylosis (the fusing of the damaged tooth’s root to the alveolar bone), root resorption (a reduction of the roots) can occur as well. 

  • Cracked teeth

Although your natural teeth are strong, they are not indestructible and could break if you suffer a hit to the face while playing sports. While little cracks in a tooth’s enamel might not be damaging to your oral health, if the cracked tooth begins at the tooth’s crown and spreads downward, it is known as a cracked tooth.

Symptoms might involve fluctuating, acute pain in the teeth, and discomfort while biting down. The subsequent coatings on your tooth might grow visible if some of the outer enamel coating is lost. In order to prevent bacterial infection, some cracks that affect the cusp may progress over the gum line and require root canal therapy or tooth extraction.

How can you keep your teeth protected when playing sports?

Keeping an active lifestyle helps promote physical health. However, there is always some risk related to high-impact activities. Your dentist will dedicate a substantial amount of their time to either saving teeth that have been damaged or replacing them when preserving them is not possible.

It is suggested that treating dental trauma and tooth loss immediately is better than addressing them later. If required, a dentist can discuss tooth replacement options with you or carry out a root canal operation to save a tooth. Yet, the longer you can keep your natural teeth, the less likely you are to develop oral health issues down the road. 

What steps should you take if you sustain a dental injury while participating in sports?

Dental emergencies rarely occur when we plan on having them, especially when we are engaging in our favorite hobbies. If an injury does occur, however, being aware of how to handle dental injury in sports and knowing what to do to minimize discomfort and save your tooth helps you maintain your calm. Visit a dental office immediately to have any sports-related harm to your teeth fixed. 

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