With the increase of team and contact sports being played by children and adults, it’s no surprise that there has also been an increase in sports-related dental injuries. Though auto accidents or falls often causes dental injuries, sports-related incidents account for over thirty-five percent of dental injuries in adults. Knocked out teeth, cheek, and tongue injuries need to be treated immediately. Use the following list as a guide for responding to dental injuries on and off the field:
- Call the dentist as soon as the injury occurs. This allows the dentist and staff to prepare for your arrival and injury.
- Knocked out teeth can be saved if you act quickly. Place the tooth in a clean container with the patient’s saliva or milk. To save the tooth, you must reach a dentist within 2 hours. Using gauze place pressure on the socket to stop bleeding.
- A severed tongue should be wrapped in a clean cloth and placed in a bag of ice. Do not wash the tongue or allow it to come in contact with the ice.
- Cut or torn cheek/tongue. Make sure that the flap of skin is held in its natural position. Use gauze to avoid contamination.
- Broken teeth can be corrected. Collect the broken pieces of the tooth for your dentist.
- Injured baby teeth should be treated with the same urgency as adult teeth. Some injuries to primary or “baby” teeth can cause problems for permanent teeth, so make sure that young children are treated for dental injuries as soon as possible.
Here is another resource page on the Academy For Sports Dentistry website: http://www.academyforsportsdentistry.org/treatment-cards
Tip: The old saying is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wear a helmet and mouth guard when playing contact sports or games that involve intense speed.