Most people associate knocked-out teeth and traumatic dental injury with rugged physical sports such as football and hockey. The physical contact, aggression and high speeds associated with these sports greatly increase the odds of inflicting a dental injury.
However, high-contact athletes are not the only players at risk. In fact, soccer players are approximately eight times more likely to suffer dental injuries than football players, and nearly 20 percent of baseball players will experience a serious dental injury.
An athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer a dental injury such as a knocked-out, or avulsed, tooth when not wearing a protective mouth guard, and the number of sports-related dental injuries is increasing. To protect young athletes’ natural teeth, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) urges all coaches and parents to enforce mouth guard use this season.
Mouth guards should be worn for all sports, including lacrosse, softball, track and field, and gymnastics. It is essential that children be protected from dental injury when they play any physical sport. Mouth guard use is a must for every sport year-round to save kids’ teeth.
In case a tooth is knocked out or injured while playing a sport, it is critical to consult an endodontist as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of saving the natural tooth. Endodontists are experts in treating traumatic tooth injuries and are specialists in root canal treatment, the procedure often required to repair and save the natural tooth.