As summer begins, people of all ages take to the outdoors to participate in a variety of sports. Some contact sports are known for their injuries while others, such as basketball, are not considered contact sports; however, players can still sustain injuries that affect the teeth. There are three types of mouth trauma that are most common to sports.
Cracks in teeth can be superficial or they can be more serious. Craze lines are cracks in the teeth that do not go deeper than the tooth enamel. These superficial cracks do not pose any immediate problems to the health of the tooth. A more extensive crack that splits the crown and goes downward is one that will need to be repaired. If the crack does not extend below the gumline, the tooth can probably be saved, although it will need root canal therapy if the root of the tooth has been exposed. When a crack extends below the gumline, the tooth usually needs to be extracted.
A blow to the face can result in a fractured tooth root if it is hard enough and occurs at a certain angle. In general, root fractures are not visible. The fracture occurs at the root and may eventually work its way up to the visible surface of the tooth. Vertical root fractures often do not show any symptoms right away. They can go unnoticed for a while and are not addressed until infection develops in the surrounding bone and gum. Since the fracture occurs below the gumline, teeth with root fractures are extracted.
Younger children are more likely to experience tooth intrusion. In this type of tooth injury, the tooth is pushed further into the jawbone. While these types of injuries can happen at any age, children are more vulnerable because their bones are softer than those of adults.
Protecting the Teeth
Before getting on the playing field, you may want to consider getting a mouthguard if you or your child will be playing a sport that could result in mouth trauma. Custom-made mouthguards last longer and protect teeth better than over-the-counter guards.
Enjoy summer sports and protect your teeth. Make an appointment at Mint Dental for more information about custom-made mouthguards.
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190 Riverwind E. Drive, Suite 201
Pearl, MS 39208
Phone: (601) 882-5600