Sports injuries can include injury to the teeth and in order to safeguard against potentially serious and painful injuries certain precautions should be taken. Mouthguards are a good form of protection and should be worn by all athletes, young and old.
Mouthguards act as shock absorbers for the teeth and help too avoid fractured or lost teeth. There are three types of mouthguards, Custom fitted latex, mouth formed and stock. All three vary in price, effectiveness and comfort. Your dentist can recommend which one would be most useful relative to the sport during which it will be worn. Hockey, lacrosse, football, squash and boxing are sports which all require the use of a good mouth guard. These sports are high risk as far as dental injuries are concerned, and necessary precautions must be taken. Volleyball, baseball, skate boarding and basketball are all sports, which are less risky. However, proper care should be exercised with these sports as well. If the jaw or teeth sustain an injury, notify your dentist immediately, or go to the hospital emergency room if necessary.
A fractured jaw needs to be cared for immediately, as does a tooth, which has been knocked out if it is going to be successfully re-implanted. If the jaw is broken, it will be painful, and very difficult to use the jaw. Immobilize the jaw, you may want to tie a cloth around it, do not move your mouth. Go to your dentist or emergency room immediately.
If a tooth has been knocked out, pick it up carefully by the crown, not the root. Picking it up by the root can injure the nerve endings at the tip of the root. Place the tooth back into its socket. If that is too painful place the tooth between the gum and cheek so as to keeps it wet with your saliva. If there is a risk of swallowing the tooth, place it in a glass of milk, salt water or damp cloth, in that order of preference. If there is bleeding or swelling apply ice for swelling and pressure for bleeding. Exercising good judgment and proper preventive measures should avoid major injuries. Together with your dentist you can work to keep that healthy smile.