Sports injuries to teeth are common, particularly when taking part in the kinds of sports that involve a large amount of physical contact or hard objects, such as a ball. The most common sports where we tend to see mouth injuries are rugby, boxing, martial arts, mountain biking, volleyball, cricket, football, hockey and basketball. Common injuries include damage to dental arches, cracks, fractures and chips to teeth and teeth being knocked out of the mouth completely, and a simple impression will allow a bespoke mouth guard to be manufactured to a superb fit and comfort
Statistically speaking, between 13 and 39% of all the dental injuries that we see in the UK are the result of participation in sports so this is a fairly common concern. As you might expect, it tends to affect younger age groups much more than adults and around a quarter of children will injure or lose a tooth as a result at some stage.
There are steps that anyone can take to avoid losing or damaging teeth as a result of taking part in sports, for example wearing a mouthguard. Most sports associations – such as the Rugby Football Association – recommend that anyone taking part in the sport wears a mouthguard for protection and the British Orthodontic Society has highlighted that those who have a fixed brace are particularly in need of this kind of protection.
A mouthguard is usually made from a material such as polyethylene vinyl acetate, which is tasteless, odourless and pliable. It will provide protection to teeth, gums and braces on the teeth and should always be replaced straight away if it becomes damaged or worn down. Other options for protection during really heavy contact sports include helmets and face cages.
Where teeth have been injured during a sports match – and a mouthguard was not worn – there is the possibility of repairing the damage through restorative dentistry. For example, knocked out teeth can be saved, particularly if the patient is able to get to a dentist within the hour.
If you have any doubts about any sports injury that you have sustained, whether requiring emergency restorative dentistry or ongoing treatment, Smile Pad is happy to help with advice and guidance. We offer a full range of dental services in London, Bristol, Chertsey & Salisbury including cosmetic, preventative and restorative, as well as dental implants.