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Dental injuries in sport!


It is important when taking part in any sporting activities risks are assessed. Any athlete taking part in contact sports must consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent dental injuries. Some sports obviously come with more risks than others but the importance of looking after our teeth daily is just as important as preventing injuries to them too.

To be able to assess if your sport is considered a high risk you need to investigate the following types of sports.

Low velocity, non-contact sports: These sports and activities have the lowest risk, as they typically include sports where the athletes perform individually at reasonable speed without physical contact. Examples include: golf, Nordic skiing, weight lifting, running and swimming.

High velocity, non-contact sports: These sports and activities are those where athletes move at high rates of speed but with no contact with other participants. While there is no contact, anytime you are moving at high rates of speed, accidents can happen. Examples include: bicycling, motocross, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding.

Contact sports: As the title states, these sports and activities include frequent body-to-body contact or body to equipment (e.g., a ball, glove, etc.) contact. Examples include: basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball.

Collision sports: With these sports and activities, strong, forceful, body-to-body or body-to-equipment contact is a primary goal of the sport. Examples include football, ice hockey, rugby, and boxing. Without the proper protective head and mouth gear, participants are highly likely to experience an oral-facial and/or head injury.

We see many patients who have unfortunately been involved in an accident during sporting activity causing facial fractures, tooth fractures and other traumas causing delayed dental problems resulting in complex dental treatment in the future.

The good news is all of these can be avoided by wearing a dental mouth guard, carefully constructed mouth guards made to the mould of your mouth dramatically decreases the risk of these kind of dental traumas. The mouth guards that can be purchased from high street sport shops are not tailor made to fit you personally therefore there are gaps between the contact from the guard and the teeth which does not give you the ideal protection you need. The mouth guard helps to distribute and absorb the force of impact, wearing a mouth guard also reduces the worries for not only the player but for parents and care givers. There is over 600,000 sports related dental injuries a year.

The mouth guard protects you from the following types of facial injuries:

  1. A custom-fit, professionally made mouthguard covers the sharp surfaces of the teeth to protect the soft tissues of the cheeks, lips, gums and tongue from lacerations that can occur from a blow or sudden jolt.
  2. Mouth Impact.Just as a mouthguard protects against soft tissue lacerations, it can also help prevent injuries to the jaws and teeth. This includes but is not limited to chipped teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth and teeth that are partially or fully knocked out of their natural position.
  3. TMJ (jaw joint) Trauma.Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard can reduce the potential for jaw displacement and joint fractures by cushioning the jaws against damage from an impact.
  4. Direct Jaw Impact.Anytime a person receives a direct impact to his/her jaw, having a mouthguard in place may help prevent more serious injuries to teeth and jaws. This is especially important for anyone diagnosed with TMJ.
  5. Jaw Fracture.A custom-fit, professionally made mouthguard both absorbs and distributes impact forces so that jaws are protected. And it is this reduction in force that can help prevent the jaws from fractures.
  6. Under Chin Impact.Receiving a blow under the chin can obviously damage teeth; however, it can also cause damage to the jaws as well as inflame or cause TMJ issues.

You can contact us today on 01727 800 372 to discuss this in more detail or arrange an appropriate appointment. – We are fortunate to be the official dental club partners for Watford Football Club supplying our professional players with these exact mouth guards.

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