Oral injuries every sports enthusiast must be aware of

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

December 2, 2020

Well you know if you’re a sports enthusiast or a professional athlete, physical injuries are always following you. Certain sports activities make you more prone to injuries of the face and oral cavity. Athletes with proclined teeth or crowded teeth are more susceptible to fractures of the front teeth, jaw and nose fractures. Here are some problems you might face and the dos and don’ts.

Fractures of the tooth

Fractures of the tooth and very common in the fields of martial arts, karate, kickboxing, wrestling or any other sports. Chipping off the enamel or fractures if just involving the enamel can be fixed with normal filling procedures. If the tooth is slightly chipped you may feel your teeth are sensitive. Once the filling procedure is done this will no longer be a problem for you.

If fractures are involving major portion of your tooth, then other line of treatment like root canal and crowns are necessary in order to save the tooth. But ignorance will do no good. You need to see a dentist as soon as possible.

If bleeding occurs from within the tooth itself do not panic. Also do not apply anything before asking your dentist as there can be chances of infections. Bleeding from the tooth indicates the tooth is broken and the inner layers of the tooth or teeth are exposed your dentist will probably opt for a root canal treatment.

Wearing off the enamel layer of your teeth

Attrition of the teeth due to constant grinding of teeth is very common in people practicing any kind of sport or even practicing martial arts. Sports enthusiasts are prone to grinding their teeth or even clenching their teeth subconsciously. This is because of the stress they go through while performing such activities grinding of teeth leads to wearing of off  of the upper enamel layer of your teeth. This exposes the inner sensitive dentin layer. Once this dentine layer is exposed it causes problems like tooth sensitivity which is difficult to bear. In such cases wearing a mouth guard while practicing helps you prevent your teeth from attrition and other dental problems in the first place.

Grinding and clenching your teeth can also cause your jaw joint or the TMJ to start paining. Now you might wonder what is this? This if you are already experiencing pain while opening and closing your mouth. You might also feel your facial muscles are tight and stressed, in that case you might want to seek immediate help from your dentist. Your dentist will guide you with some jaw exercises and medications to get rid of this.

 Fractures of the jaw

Jaw fractures are not that common as fractures of the tooth. Your jaw is more strong and can bear more forces but fractures of the jaw can happen while practicing any sport falling down accidentally any injury or any hit to the bone directly.  One needs to be extra careful and rushed to the dentist or the hospital immediately.

Jaw joint dislocation and pain

Sometimes you may experience a sudden pain in the jaw joint or pain while opening and closing your mouth is because of the stress and clenching of your teeth. A sudden blow to the jaw joint can also cause you pain. It may even cause your jaw joint to dislocate and keep you in a position where your jaw is locked. You might not be able to open or close your mouth. This is called lockjaw and needs immediate attention by a dentist.

Tooth pushed inside with a punch

Sometimes with a sudden punch or a hit to the tooth can push the tooth into the socket that is into the bone and there can be bleeding too. This is intrusive luxation. In case of minor 1-2 mm intrusion your dentist could wait for the spontaneous eruption that is the tooth will come naturally to its original position. Major intrusion of more than 2mm would need orthodontic help to pull the teeth out.

Tooth slightly pushed outside with a punch

A sudden blow for a punch to your front teeth can also cause your tooth or teeth to slightly come out  the tooth slightly displaces out of the socket of the bone that could be mobile and can be mild bleeding can also cause you pain . You may feel the tooth appears slightly long. Your dentist will try to stabilize the tooth if it is moving within the socket and eventually opt for a orthodontic treatment(braces treatment).

Accidentally falling off of the tooth with the root

Did you know if your tooth accidentally falls off with its root you could fix it again if you reach the dentist within 45 minutes? Yes! that’s the importance of seeking a dentist help immediately. If the tooth is clean and there is no excessive bleeding, your dentist can fix the same tooth in your mouth.

How to preserve the tooth till you reach the dentist?

  • Saline solution
  • Saliva
  • Tap water
  • Milk

Pink tooth 

A sudden blow or a punch to your face may sometimes not cause it to fracture or break or even come out but will keep paining and eventually stop paining after a few days. You will notice the tooth has slightly turned pink over a period of time. This is because the tooth starts to bleed internally within the tooth itself. This would indicate your tooth is dead and needs a root canal treatment.

Cuts lacerations and bruises

Lacerations and bleeding can cause pain. You could apply cold packs and use warm water saline rinses to avoid infections. Visiting your dentist is a must to check for any ulcers after any cuts or bruises. Your dentist will help you and guide with the right gels and intra oral medications to apply twice daily for a week or two.

To protect your teeth from these oral injuries invest in a customized mouth guard from your dentist at the earliest and avoid these accidents from happening in the first place.

Highlights

  • Stress/pain in your jaw while lifting weights could could affect your jaw joint.
  • Tooth fractures, sudden pain or chipping of teeth while biting could be fixed with a simple filing procedure.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching while lifting weights or any sport activities could cause teeth attrition and eventually sensitivity.
  • Mouth breathing while doing cardio activities could lead to dry mouth, making your teeth more susceptible to tooth cavities.
  • Smoothies and energy drinks or bars could make your teeth more prone to decay.
  • In case of any injuries reach your dentist within 45 minutes to avoid any dental complications.

What is your Oral Type?

Everybody has a different oral type.

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