April 19, 2021
You’re playing basketball and your opponent drops the ball. You both run to grab it, but they get to it first. All you end up catching is an elbow in the mouth! Athletes put themselves at risk of a dental injury every time they step onto a field, a court, a golf course, or a gym floor. If you’ve ever had a dental emergency in Phoenix, you know how painful they can be. Here is a list of 3 common sports-related dental injuries and how to prevent them.
A fractured tooth means that the tooth’s enamel has been cracked or broken. The enamel protects the tooth’s pulp, nerves and blood vessels from extreme temperatures and other stimuli. Depending on the extent of the fracture, you could feel pain, or you may feel no pain at all. A cracked tooth doesn’t always originate at the crown. A hit to a tooth at the wrong angle can fracture the root. The crack can then travel toward the tooth’s chewing surface. Cracks or fractures can be invisible, so unless you feel pain or develop an infection, you may not even know they are there.
A hard blow to the tooth can cause result in a luxation, which is when the tooth is still in the socket, but it’s been knocked in a different direction. Typically, biting down on a clean towel can help to stabilize a luxation. But if your tooth is pushed deeper into the gums (called a tooth invasion or intrusion) it’s best not to touch the tooth. Leave it where it is and seek immediate medical attention from an emergency dentist, as a doctor at the hospital is not able to perform a tooth extraction.
When your tooth is completely knocked out, it is often referred to as a dental avulsion. When this occurs, you must be sure not to brush the tooth or handle it by the root. Instead, immediately place it in a small glass of milk. If possible, you can also place it back into the socket and contact an emergency dentist right away.
A mouthguard is the best way to prevent a dental emergency. Athletes are 60 times more likely to have a dental injury without a dental guard. Outside of protecting your teeth, mouthguards can also reduce the chance of concussions by 50 percent.
Statistics show that an estimated that 13 to 39 percent of dental injuries occur while playing a sport. Though your tooth may be the only thing you’re thinking about, sports-related dental emergencies can result in long-term oral issues. If you experience any sign of tooth pain or any changes in your mouth tissues, contact your dentist in Phoenix as soon as possible.
About the Practice
Drs. Christine Gonzalez and Ryan Cicero work together to provide patients with personalized, comprehensive dental care. This is accomplished by getting to know their patients beyond their dental health. Their services include everything from general cleanings and checkups to emergency dental care and sedation dentistry. If you find yourself in the midst of a dental emergency or simply need a checkup, contact the office at (623) 322-1538 or visit the website to schedule a visit.