Contact sports, such as football, boxing and soccer, expose your mouth to potential dental sport injuries. Who should you see when you incur blunt force trauma to the head or face? That will depend on the extent of the injury.
Dental Sport Injuries – Go to the ER or See a Dentist?
When to Visit the ER
- Any injury which involves head, neck or facial trauma should be seen in the Emergency Room. Signs include concussion, nosebleeds, headache, earache, trouble with memory, confusion or dizziness.
- Severe tooth fractures which expose both dentin and pulp will need to be removed, and if your dentist cannot see you right away, an oral surgeon at the ER can perform tooth extractions.
When to Call Your Dentist
- Fractured teeth can sometimes be repaired by your dentist depending on the location and size of the fracture.
- When there was significant impact but no visible trauma, you’ll still want to see your dentist for x-rays to make sure there weren’t small fractures below the gum line. Root canal therapy may be necessary if one of the roots becomes infected.
- Always follow up with your dentist, even after Emergency Room treatment.
Preventing Dental Sport Injuries
Any sport which has the risk of blunt force trauma to the jaw or face should use sport-appropriate head and jaw protection to protect the head, face, and teeth. Quality, custom mouth guards (like ArmourBite mouth guards) are important and an easy way to protect your smile. Some mouth guards also claim to improve oxygen intake, which reduces the speed of lactic acid buildup and improves performance.
Dr. Reem Kiddess provides tooth restoration services and custom mouth guards in the Paradise Valley and greater Phoenix, AZ areas. For more information on custom mouth guards and preventing dental sport injuries, contact our office.