Dental Sport Injuries

. Posted in General Dental

In mid-November 2015 Ronda Rousey, the undefeated UFC fighter, fought and lost in a now infamous match against Holly Holm, in Melbourne. Rousey’s loss was made all the worse by having some teeth knocked loose and suffering such dental sport injuries that she has not been able to fight since, and won’t be able to until her injuries heal.

Every year, we witness professional athletes make headlines due to dental sport injuries. Sure, these traumatic incidents make for good viral videos, but the result is clearly painful and rather serious for the athlete. Dental sport injuries commonly sideline sportspeople for extended periods of time.

Take Damian Martin, the Perth Wildcats’ captain, for example; after breaking his jaw late last year, he had to have his teeth splintered and two metal plates surgically inserted into his jaw before he could play again!

We know better than most, just how far dentistry has come in treating dental sport injuries, but the fact remains that prevention is always better than a cure. The best way to avoid dental sport injuries during sport is by wearing a professionally made, custom mouthguard. Designed specifically to lessen the impact of blows to the teeth and skull, wearing a professional mouthguard can significantly reduce trauma to your teeth in the event of an accident.

Dental O So Gentle, for example, can adjust the thickness of your mouthguard to suit the specific sport you’re playing in order to achieve the best balance between comfort and protection.

But no matter how strong your mouthguard is or how snugly it fits in your mouth, if you aren’t wearing your mouthguard in your mouth they’re not going to do much good – just ask footy players Elliot Yeo and Buddy Franklin, both of whom suffered dental sport injuries due to their mouthguards… being tucked in their socks!

We don’t design mouthguards to protect your shins!

Yet, despite our best efforts, accidents do accidentally happen, even off the field!

So what do you do if you have a dental sport injury?

  1. If a tooth comes out completely, hold on to it! Keep it in your mouth or store it in milk if it’s available.
  2. See your dentist immediately. Dental sport injuries require urgent attention.
  3. Have your injury examined by a professional. Make sure to get digital radiographs, so you can get a proper assessment of the damage and determine the appropriate treatment.

What are the most common dental sport injuries and how would you treat them?

Broken Teeth – treatment includes composite resin restoration or a porcelain crown/veneer.

Displaced Teeth – possible repositioning and splintering in place while the tissues heal.

Broken Bone – if the bone is broken, it may be necessary to have an Oral Surgeon assess the area. Root canal treatment could be necessary if the nerve dies, becomes exposed or infected. Occasionally, a tooth will even need to be removed. But, don’t worry – the tooth can usually be replaced with either a fixed porcelain bridge, or an implant.

No matter what happens, it’s always important to ensure you have regular follow-up examinations and radiographs to check for changes over time as a result of your dental sport injury.

While we love helping our patients achieve the smile they want, we’d rather not see you come in with a dental sport injury! So always remember to wear your mouthguard, take care of your dental health and keep your smile looking beautiful!