One of the most common sports injuries has more to do with your teeth than you might think. We usually associate sports injuries with sprains or broken bones. However, according to the American Dental Assistants Association, over 5 million people lose a tooth due to a sport-related injury.
What are the most common oral sports injuries? If you do not have a standard or custom fitted athletic mouthguard, you are more likely to experience the following oral injuries:
o Fractured Roots
o The root of a tooth can become fractured. Unfortunately, fractured roots are not visible, so it is more likely that it will only be noticed when infection sets it. You will need a root canal to fix a root fracture in most cases.
o Cracked Teeth
o The most common tooth injury from sports is a fractured tooth. Sometimes a crack or chip will be relatively small, while other times it can be large and will mean a tooth removal. A fracture in a tooth can worsen over time if not seen by a dentist immediately.
o Tooth Intrusion
o Although rare, a tooth intrusion is where the tooth is forced back into the jawbone. This is a painful occurrence and can cause some other dental issues.
What are athletic mouthguards?
An athletic mouthguard is a protective device that covers the teeth and gums. Designed to absorb any of the impacts that someone might receive to the face, you will often see them worn by professional sports players.
Athletic mouthguards can reduce the chance of injury that an athlete can sustain during sport. It can also reduce any damage to teeth, arches, gums, and lips. It is vital that if you or a loved one play a sport that you are fitted for a mouthguard.
What types of athletic mouthguards are there?
There are a number of mouthguard options that you can choose from. Some are more beneficial than others depending on your specific needs. These are some options for your selection of an athletic mouthguard:
o Stock Mouthguard
o Stock mouthguards are available at any sporting store; these are the less expensive and least protective of your options. They are ready to use. As a downside, they can cause the player to need to bite down constantly to hold it in, or it can cut the gums.
o Boil and Bite or Mouth Formed
o These guards are warmed up. Next, the user bites down on them to get the form of their mouth. The problem with this type is that they often don’t reach the back teeth and are very bulky. This can cause gagging or gum damage. Not only that, but they don’t provide enough protection.
o Custom Made
o A custom athletic mouthguard will be designed to address all of the issues that the user may face. They are designed with the specific sport in mind and provide the maximum amount of protection for your teeth.
Should I be wearing an athletic mouthguard?
If you play any of the following sports in Eagle Mountain, Utah, then you should be wearing an athletic mouthguard:
The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports: football, gymnastic, handball, ice hockey, acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.