hether you’re an athlete yourself or the parent of an athlete, there’s nothing scarier than thinking about a season-ending injury. Whether it’s a torn ACL or sprained wrist, sports injuries should always be taken seriously to keep the athlete healthy long after the game is over. While athletes train and develop techniques for protecting their bodies while playing, oral sports injuries are frequently overlooked when gearing up for the big game. As the area’s leading dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics is here to help you understand the severity and risk factors for oral sports injuries and give you tips on how to prevent these injuries.
Which Athletes are at Risk of Oral Sports Injuries?
Understanding Risk Factors with Leading Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental
When it comes to oral sports injuries, leading dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics says that there are no athletes that aren’t at risk. During the season, an athlete has a 10% chance of receiving an orofacial injury, and each athlete has a 33-56% chance of receiving an orofacial injury during his or her playing career.
This isn’t just an issue in high-impact sports like football, hockey, and rugby. Athletes playing lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, and softball are often prone to orofacial injuries despite not being as outwardly aggressive and dependent on contact. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, as many as 39% of all dental injuries are sports-related, meaning that athletes of all kinds are involved in this jarringly high statistic.
Even so, there are some additional risk factors you should know about. Men are considered to be twice as likely to sustain an orofacial injury while playing sports. Basketball players have the highest injury rate due to collisions, ball contact, and half/elbow contact with the face.
While governing bodies have taken action to prevent orofacial injuries within specific sports like football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and field hockey, only about two-thirds of the athletes are actually in compliance with safety gear regulations at any given time.
Common Oral Sports Injuries Seen by Leading Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental
One of the main reasons athletes visit the area’s leading dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental, os because they have a visibly cracked or chipped tooth. Caused by impact, teeth sometimes crack or break, leading to visible damage. However, it’s possible that athletes will not notice because the crack isn’t always visible to the naked eye and appears as subtle, spotty pain. Athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60x more likely to crack a tooth during a competition, which when left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues.
An oral sports injury isn’t limited to just the visible part of the tooth. An impact can cause a fractured root that eventually travels to the tooth’s chewing surface. These can be hard to detect until they become infected and are often treated with root canal therapy. Without treatment, a patient may experience necrosis or tooth loss.
Rather than having a tooth knocked out, some oral sports injury involve tooth intrusion, or the teeth being jammed back into the jawbone. This is less common with children who still have baby teeth because their teeth are more loosely help into the jaw to begin with. However, adult teeth are fastened tightly into the jaw which can cause the teeth to die or roots to shorten if left untreated.
How to Be Proactive About Oral Sports Injuries
Tips for Preventing Injuries from Leading Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental
According to the leading dentist in Rosslyn Farms, there are a number of ways to be proactive about preventing oral sports injuries. First and foremost: wear proper protective equipment. It’s a good idea for athletes to wear a mouthguard, helmet, or face shield for a number of sports, even if the sport does not require them during practice or play. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure your athlete has the equipment necessary - even if just for practice - to protect the mouth.
Coaches should also be proactive regarding orofacial injuries. Paying attention when learning new skills and drills is key, and coaches should always encourage players to use the necessary safety equipment.
Making sure that athletes wear proper safety gear should also be enforced by game officials. Officials should be taking the time before games to inspect safety gear on each player and assessing equipment like bats and sticks for broken parts that could injure another player.
Think it’s time to make sure your athlete’s orofacial health is in check? Get in touch with the team at Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics today to schedule a checkup.