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Sports with risks for teeth.

 It is estimated that 39% of dental injuries are due to sports practice.

Sports activity is associated with better oral health as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, certain sports practices can increase the risk of dental trauma. In these cases, prevention is always the best solution, and prompt intervention by the dentist if the damage cannot be avoided.

Sports with risks for teeth

It is estimated that 39% of dental trauma is due to sports practice. Usually, injuries to teeth are associated with contact sports, such as rugby or boxing, but athletes generally wear mouthguards in these cases. However, in sports such as basketball, soccer, handball, and gymnastics, dental trauma is higher, mainly because using helmets and mouthguards is not mandatory.

In adults, the main factor causing dental trauma is related to contact sports (such as soccer, handball, and basketball) or combat sports (martial arts, boxing). There is also a significant increase in dental trauma and tooth loss resulting from sports such as cycling, skating, paddle tennis, or squash. In children, most of these traumas occur in moments of leisure or play rather than in organized sports. It is estimated that almost half of these injuries occur at school.

Prevention is best

The best preventive measures focus on avoiding these traumas and knowing how to act in case they happen.  

Special strategic measures should be taken for people with a previous history of dental trauma. For example, a Swedish study found that children who suffered their first dental trauma before 9 were 8.4 times more likely to experience another similar event. In addition, special care should be taken in patients with increased dental protrusion (those with upper teeth are far in front of the lower teeth).

It is essential to carry out a risk assessment of sports games or activities and, likewise, to instruct children and their caregivers on how to act in the event of dental trauma.

One of the primary resources to prevent dental trauma is a protective splint so that the teeth are protected, and the forces of the blow are evenly distributed. In fact, experts recommend the use of a mouth guard during impact sports.

Seeing your dentist as soon as possible is a priority.

All traumatic injuries must be diagnosed, treated, and controlled in time. Especially when dental trauma to permanent (permanent) teeth has occurred, it is essential to see a dentist immediately after the accident. If you receive early treatment, there is a greater chance of preserving the tooth's vitality. As a result, more conservative treatment will be carried out, the prognosis will be improved, complications will be prevented, and more costly treatment will be avoided.

All dental trauma should be considered an emergency, and the dentist should be consulted as soon as possible, who will examine the patient, and apply the most appropriate treatment. In the most severe cases, when the dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected, endodontic treatment may be necessary, through which the inside of the tooth will be treated, or an attempt will be made to maintain the natural dentition, the surrounding bone and gum, as well as its functionality.

With the recommendation to go to the dentist quickly in cases of dental trauma due to sports practice, the aim is to avoid more significant damage:

Injuries or contusions in the mouth can affect the lip, tongue, or mucous membranes. After the impact, the area should be washed and disinfected, and the condition of the teeth and bone should be checked.

Dislocation: in this case, the blow displaces the tooth from its place, causing it to move, although without expelling it completely. It is essential not to use mouthwash or touch the tooth.

Fracture: if the trauma has broken a piece of tooth, care should be taken to ensure the nerve is not damaged. In these circumstances, it is recommended to recover and conserve the broken tooth fragment in saline solution, water, or milk.

Avulsion: If the trauma has been so intense that the tooth has been completely expelled, it should be recovered by holding it by the crown (never by the root), do not clean it, not rinse it, and go immediately to the dentist.