You are in good company if you recently lost a tooth to a sports injury. According to the American Dental Assistant’s Association, this happens five million times a year. This number includes both people who lost one or more teeth instantly and those who lost a tooth later due to not seeking immediate attention at the time of the injury.
Professional dentists stress that it is critical to request an appointment as soon as possible when experiencing a blow to the mouth. Although you may not see any obvious damage to your teeth, the jolt could set a series of events in action that can result in tooth loss or other serious consequences. Let’s discusses some of the most common types of sports related tooth injuries in this blog.
While this injury is rare, it is also extremely serious. When you experience tooth intrusion, the jolt of the blow to your mouth pushes a tooth into your jawbone. This can result in one or all of these issues:
- Tooth ankylosis, an oral health condition that occurs when the root of a tooth artificially fuses with its alveolar bone
- Destruction of some or all pulp in the tooth
- Root resorption, which means the root of the tooth becomes shorter than normal
Fractured Tooth Roots
Fracturing a tooth is an obvious sports injury, but you may be less aware that you also cracked the root of the tooth. A cracked tooth root typically happens when the crack starts at the root’s edge and gravitates towards its chewing surface. These types of fractures are usually not visible. In fact, you may not realize you have a fractured tooth root until you develop an infection that causes significant pain.
The severity of a fractured root depends on the origination point of the crack. You will eventually require a root canal to repair damage to the root and prevent further infection. Having the root canal completed as soon as possible greatly increases the likelihood of saving the tooth.
A crack that runs lengthwise usually does not threaten the health of a tooth. Dentists refer to this as a craze line. Although you may notice the craze line, it should not cause you any significant pain. Even so, you should have a crown placed over the tooth to restore its original strength.
Sometimes a crack starts at a tooth’s crown and continues in a downward motion, resulting in the following symptoms:
- Loss of part of the tooth enamel
- Sharp pain when biting down or chewing
- Tooth pain that comes and goes
- Noticeable pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold
Cracks that extend across the tooth can cause damage to the four pointed ends called cusps. A crosswise tooth crack may require extraction. A root canal to prevent infection is the other treatment option.
Contact Us with Additional Questions or to Schedule an Appointment
Taking a proactive approach to protecting your teeth while playing sports is obviously better than losing a tooth. If you need a mouth guard, please contact Southbridge Dentistry for a fitting. We are also available for emergency and routine appointments. Set up your appointment today here or call 303-798-4967.