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3 Common Dental Emergencies Among Young Athletes

August 27, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgoodman @ 1:24 pm
track runner smiling and sitting down with a metal around their neck

It can sometimes be difficult to watch your child enjoy themselves while they’re out playing the sport they love because you’re worried about them getting injured. Unfortunately, situations like dental emergencies are a common occurrence that you can’t really avoid while you’re on the field. With the phone number of your trusted nearby emergency dentist, you’ll be able to get your child the help they need fast, and hopefully prevent it from ever occurring again. Read on to learn about three of the most common dental injuries that young athletes experience and how they can be avoided.


1. Cracked Teeth

Cracked and fractured teeth commonly happen when athletes take an unanticipated hit to the face. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, players who don’t wear protective mouthguards are 60 times more likely to crack their teeth and experience long-term dental issues.

Cracks extending longways down your child’s teeth, which dental professionals have coined “craze lines”, don’t pose a serious threat to their oral health, because these are just scoring lines in the enamel. A cracked or fractured tooth will have a split that begins at the crown of the tooth and goes directly into the tooth. Although these aren’t always visible, you can tell that they’re there if your child experiences sporadic sharp pains, pain while eating and drinking, or the loss of a section of the enamel that exposes the yellow-colored dentin beneath.

2. Fractured Teeth Roots

If your child was struck at just the right angle, they may also experience a fractured root. This occurs when a crack starts at the root of the tooth instead of the crown and travels all the way to the biting surface. This issue is often invisible, which is why it can be so dangerous if it’s not treated. Without root canal therapy, their pulp could be at a high risk of becoming infected and causing serious pain.

3. Tooth Intrusion

Oftentimes, the first sports-related injury that comes to mind is knocking out a tooth. Although this is still a common issue, tooth intrusions are a more frequent occurrence. This occurs when the tooth is driven back into the jawbone. This happens more to younger athletes who still have their primary teeth than to older ones because their alveolar bones, which support the tooth sockets, aren’t as hard as an adult’s. Without timely treatment, it could result in the tooth dying or the root of the tooth shortening in response to the damage.

How Can You Protect Your Young Athlete’s Smile?

It’s safe to say that you don’t want any of these common dental injuries to happen to your athlete. Although it’s a good idea to have an emergency dentist’s phone number on hand at all of their games, just in case, it’s also important to take them to visit their dentist to get a protective custom sportsguard. These are made from highly resorptive materials that will help guard their jaw and teeth from force, allowing you to watch their game without having to worry about them becoming injured!

About the Author

Dr. Gary Goodman has been treating dental emergencies since 1981, and has extensive experience with even the most complex cases. He aims to treat his patients in pain the same day they call and offer several sedation methods to help make emergency patients comfortable while they’re in the treatment chair. He also offers customized protective sportsguards to help keep patients out of the treatment chair to begin with! For questions or to schedule an emergency appointment or consultation for a sportsguard, visit Goodman Dental Care’s website or call 410-263-1919.

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