A dental emergency can happen anytime and anywhere. Trauma to teeth, however, tends to occur through sudden physical contact. This can lead to a feeling of shock. By physical contact, this means sports or contact activities. The majority of oral health injuries occur within sport and injuries are more likely to occur without any protection, such as a dental mouthguard.
Sudden injuries to teeth require immediate examination by the dentist to determine the symptoms experienced and the treatment necessary to restore the full set of teeth. You may also suffer injuries to the jaw.
The Common Dental Emergencies
Let’s take a look at the common dental emergencies that occur within sport and general physical activity.
- A Cracked Tooth – A cracked tooth commonly occurs when individuals experience a sudden blow to the face. This is true particularly if a mouthguard isn’t worn to protect the teeth. Without a mouthguard, it is estimated that trauma through physical accidents is 60 times likelier to occur. A cracked tooth involves a deep or light crack from the crown before extending downward to the bottom end of the tooth. If sharp pain during biting or sensitivity occurs within the affected area, the tooth has been cracked.
- Permanent Tooth Knocked Out Of The Socket – When a permanent tooth is knocked out, the dentist will need to be consulted as soon as possible. It is important that the tooth is placed back into the socket. This can be avoided with a mouthguard, but deep sensitivity and trauma will be experienced due to the sudden contact. Blood will also be filtered through at a fast rate. When a tooth has been knocked out, rinse the mouth with lukewarm water before placing the tooth back into the socket. Bite it down through a towel for stability.
- A Chipped Tooth – A chipped tooth can occur away from as well, but experiencing a chip is more common within a sport-related activity. When a tooth chips, depending on the severity, a deep or light rough edge will form sparking the chip. Going forward, eating and biting down with a chipped tooth will make it worse, leading to a deeper crack and potentially breaking the tooth.
Are you seeking a dental emergency appointment? Read here on what to expect when you arrive at the practice
Advice To Avoid Tooth Injury
As mentioned above, a mouthguard should always be worn during physical contact sports activities. A dental injury can occur at any time and it is important that teeth stay away from becoming injured. Replacement or restoration treatment can be particularly expensive, and further treatment may be necessary depending on the severity of the injured tooth. Consider wearing helmets as well. Although they won’t protect teeth, upon a physical accident, the tooth will not be the first point of contact, particularly in sports such as football, rugby and cricket.