Sports are a great way to stay fit and active, especially if you aren’t a fan of going to the gym. Unfortunately, you may be placing your smile at risk of serious damage if you aren’t wearing an athletic mouthguard. 1 in 6 Americans has a dental emergency annually. Although it can happen to anyone, athletes have a higher risk. Whether riding a bike or playing football, here are the top 3 dental emergencies for athletes and what you can do to safeguard your smile.
1. Fractured Teeth
A blow to the face can easily fracture a tooth; however, the severity of the damage may not always be visible to an untrained eye. Besides large cracks, craze lines can also occur. They are superficial and don’t pose an immediate threat to your oral health. However, serious cracks or splits can lead to the loss of your tooth without immediate dental attention.
2. Fractured Roots
Fractures can also occur below the surface of the gums. Impact to the mouth from a certain angle can cause a crack to run from the crown to the root. In some situations, the crack can only run along the root. An emergency dentist can save your tooth from extraction if you don’t delay scheduling an appointment.
3. Knocked-Out Tooth
Knocked-out or dislodged teeth are common among athletes. Contrary to common misconceptions, not all knocked-out teeth are gone for good. If you get to a dentist within 30 to 40 minutes, they may be able to save your tooth. However, if it is too badly damaged or treatment is delayed, you’ll need a replacement option, like a dental implant.
Protect Your Smile with an Athletic Mouthguard
The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that 15 million Americans have sports-related dental situations every year. Furthermore, 10% of athletes will end up with a facial or dental injury during any given season. Your smile doesn’t have to become a victim of your favorite activity. 82% to 93% of athletes can avoid dental injuries with an athletic mouthguard.
You’ll find several mouthguards OTC, which appear convenient and affordable. However, they are not custom-fit and are made of poor-quality materials. As a result, they can do more harm than good if there’s any trauma to your mouth.
Instead, it’s best to turn to a professional. Your dentist can craft a high-quality mouthguard to fit your smile like a glove. It will provide maximum protection for your teeth, gums, jaw, and other oral tissues. Research has also shown it may lower your risk of concussion.
Don’t place your smile at risk of irreversible damage. Ask your dentist about adding the protection of an athletic mouthguard to your prevention plan.
About Dr. David Earnest
Dr. Earnest earned his dental degree at the University of Texas before continuing his education in general dentistry and dental implants. He has the qualifications and experience to treat the most complex oral health issues, including dental emergencies. Contact our office today to request an appointment.