Monday, August 1, 2011

Dental Sports Injuries

According to recent research, dental injuries make up around 40% of the total number of sporting injuries that occur each year. It just goes to show how vulnerable our teeth can be, especially the front teeth. The added problem is that our vulnerable front teeth are also our most visible: so a lost tooth here can not only be painful, it can also be really damaging to our self-confidence and self-esteem.
The fact is that our teeth do not grow back and the risk of irreversible damage is real. So when you lose or damage a tooth due to a sporting injury, it is not quite the same as other injuries which heal over a period of time. While a damaged tooth may only feel like a minor injury, it is not and can in fact negatively affect other aspects of your oral and overall health. It can also mean that, in the longer term, you feel self-conscious about smiling, talking and eating in social situations.
It is important to realize that the aesthetics are not the only aspect of the damage that a missing tooth can cause. A missing tooth puts extra, unusual pressure on the remaining teeth and on your jaw, which can lead to a whole variety of aches and ailments, from grinding your teeth at night to having aches in the neck, shoulders, back and also damaging the remaining dentition.
Of course different severities of trauma and the specific circumstances will require different and yet appropriate treatments. The key is to contact your dental professional as soon as possible to have a clinical and radiographic examination and come up with a treatment plan. 
Always use proper safety equipment, including a sports mouth guard when indicated as necessary.