Dental sporting injuries to the mouth, teeth and gums are becoming more and more common in the UK with dentists claiming that the number of patients needing weekend emergency appointments is on the increase.
A number of both adults and children are likely to take part in contact sports this summer due to the World Cup, Tennis and Commonwealth games. With this is mind it’s important to protect our mouths from injury.
In older children and adults, sports injuries are common. Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.
About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common.
If you are unlucky enough to have a tooth knocked out, it often can be saved if you get to a dentist quickly enough. Minor chips and cracks can also be repaired. Dentists use tooth-coloured materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. However, even “minor” injuries can cause serious and costly damage.
If you enjoy sports or other high-risk activities it’s important to protect yourself. The use of mouth guards among football players, for example, is believed to prevent about 200,000 mouth injuries a year.
Depending on the sport helmets and mouth guards are two types of protection methods
A helmet is an essential for activities that involve speed or impact. These include football, hockey, skating and bike riding. The helmet should fit correctly and it should also be appropriate for the sport you are playing.
Invest in a mouth guard
Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist is recommended because this type of mouth guard usually fits better than a ready-made one which means it should protect your teeth better.
If you don’t want to go to the dentist you could, try a “boil-and-bite” mouth guard which you can buy one in a sporting-goods store. You place the mouth guard in boiling water. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot), you bite down on the mouth guard and mold the softened plastic around your teeth. If the mouth guard doesn’t fit comfortably the first time, you can reheat it and do it again.
If you have any questions about dental sporting emergencies or mouth guards or if you ever experience an emergency when playing sport contact us.
Perhaps you have experiences an injury and received treatment for this please feel free to share this with us on our facebook and twitter pages.