Article 12. Sports and Dentistry
As the weather is starting to warm up, we can all become excited about the summer sporting season approaching us. With this in mind, we would like to give you some advice for kids and adults alike who enjoy participating in a whole range of sports.
1. Contact Sports
If you play any form of sports which involve physical contact ie. Soccer, Basketball, Touch Football, AFL and especially combat sports such as Boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to list a few we might recommend that you may need to wear mouthguards to protect your teeth. This is important as despite the fact teeth are hard, they can become chipped, broken or even dislodged by accidents or contact from playing these sports. You can easily purchase a boil and bite mouthguard from the local chemist or you can ask the dentist about making a custom-moulded mouthguard.
2. Energy and Sports drinks
Energy drinks such as red bull and V are able to give you a quick energy burst but they are bad for your teeth as they contain a lot of acids and sugars and also make you become dehydrated quickly. Sports drinks can also be acidic even if they are electrolyte based and we recommend rinsing your mouth after consumption of these drinks and avoiding overconsumption of these drinks. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as the weather is warming up fast.
3. Dental Injuries during sports
Many dental injuries can occur including:
-Lip soft tissue injuries- consult a GP if stitches are required
-Chipped teeth- if the chip is small and the nerve is not involved you may need to book the next available appointment to speak to your dentist about repairing the chip and the options involved which include: filling, veneer, possibly crown. If the chip is deep and the tooth is bleeding it is recommended you contact your dentist for an urgent emergency appointment as the nerve of the tooth may be in danger of undergoing irreversible changes if not addressed quickly.
-Dislodged teeth- best to place in a sterile saline solution if possible, if not could possibly place in milk or even in the saliva under the tongue. Don’t allow the tooth to dry out as this is very bad for the prognosis of saving the tooth. Contact the dentist on an urgent emergency basis to have the tooth replaced and supported by splinting.
-Serious facial trauma- broken jaw etc- best to attend local hospital emergency to have a comprehensive treatment for trauma.