Dental injuries affect millions of people annually. While athletes and active children run the highest risk of damage, we are all vulnerable to falls and other unforeseen accidents that cause dental trauma. Chipped teeth are the most common dental emergency, followed by accident tooth loss from impact or injury.
Protecting Teeth during Sports and Active Play
Using a mouth guard while participating in sports or other high risk activities can significantly reduce the risk of dental trauma and the expense that goes along with it.
It is important to have a guard that is custom fitted by a dentist to assure the best fit and keep teeth as protected as possible. 80% of dental injuries affect the front teeth. Damage to the tongue and cheek is also common. A good rule of thumb for protecting one’s teeth is that if a helmet is recommended, a mouth guard should also be used.
To put things in perspective: the use of mouth guards prevents about 200,000 mouth injuries a year among football players.
How are Dental Injuries Treated?
If there has been trauma to the mouth, the injury may be obvious or you might not notice anything out of the ordinary. There could be damage that can only a trained professional can see.
It is imperative to get to an emergency dentist immediately! Even if a tooth seems only cosmetically broken or chipped, damage could be significant enough to cause infection inside the tooth.
Treatment for your dental problems depends on the type of injury, location, and severity.
- Dislodged Baby Teeth don’t need to be replaced; however the child can seen by a medical professional if damage to soft tissue was part of the injury.
- Dislodged Adult Teeth can be gently cleaned and placed back into the gums. Place a napkin over the tooth, after you’ve put in in the right spot, and bite down softly on the way to the dentist. Permanent teeth lost by a child can be placed in milk, or slightly salted water to avoid choking.
- Minor Chips and Cracks can be repaired by composite bonding or veneers.
For any dental injury, until you can be seen, keep the area clean by using a soft toothbrush and antiseptic mouthwash. Eat only soft foods and avoid continued participation in sports or other high impact activities.
If you are in the Rutherford, NJ area and need a broken tooth repaired, or a dislodged tooth replaced, call Frost Dental Group for emergency dental care.