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Summer Sports: Dental Traumas and Treatments


The summer season means outdoor sports and activities, because who wants to stay indoors when it is so nice outside? While various summer sports and activities are fun to compete in, they can also pose a risk to your teeth.  As with any sport, dental trauma can occur. Let’s take a look at a couple dental traumas that might occur and what to do when it happens:

A Knocked Out Tooth

When an athlete loses an entire tooth, it is referred to as an avulsion.  Reimplantation is critical within the first 5-10 minutes. In cases where your tooth is knocked out, minutes do matter, which means you shouldn’t wait to seek treatment. If the root of your tooth has debris on it, it is important to rinse the root with water.  On the other hand, if the root appears to be clean, grasp the crown between your thumb and first finger with the smooth flat surface forward and place the tooth completely into the socket with firm pressure.

However, if no one is prepared to replant the tooth, or if the injured patient is unwilling or unable to cooperate with immediate reimplantation, or if the damage to the socket and adjacent teeth is substantial, control bleeding with pressure.  Place the tooth in liquid such as milk,saline solution or another storage media to keep it from dying.  After this, transport the patient and tooth to your dentist immediately for the best available treatment.

Your Tooth is in the Wrong Position

When your tooth is in the socket, but the wrong position, it is called subluxation.  There are three positions of subluxation, with the first being an extruded tooth in which the upper tooth hangs down and/or lower tooth has been pushed up. When this happens:

  • Reposition the tooth in the socket by using firm finger pressure like replantation
  • Stabilize the tooth by gently biting on a towel or wet paper tissue
  • Immediately visit Drs. David Croop, Brenda Bertsch, Ben Gosnell, and Robert Bertsch

The next position is lateral displacement, which is when the tooth is pushed back or pulled forward.  When this occurs, it is important to understand that no treatment should be completed at the accident scene because the tooth is lodged in the bone.  In this situation it is vital that you visit Drs. David Croop, Brenda Bertsch, Ben Gosnell, and Robert Bertsch immediately for treatment.

Additionally, the last position is an intruded tooth, which is a tooth pushed into the gum and looks short.  Similar to lateral displacement, when this injury occurs no treatment should be completed at the scene, but the patient should be brought to the dentist immediately.

When a Tooth is Fractured

When your tooth is broken this means it is fractured.  Your tooth can sometimes remain intact, but other times it can be in pieces.  If your tooth is in pieces, save the broken portion and bring it to Drs. David Croop, Brenda Bertsch, Ben Gosnell, and Robert Bertsch at Mt. Lookout Dentistry in water or milk.  A tooth that is fractured may have a nerve exposed, which can cause pain from cold, heat and air passage.  When this happens, analgesics are recommended.  You may complete the game or activity, but it is important to visit our office within 3 hours to save or treat the dental pulp—Sooner is always better.

When your life consists of sports or other recreational activities, consult Drs. David Croop, Brenda Bertsch, Ben Gosnell, and Robert Bertsch at Mt. Lookout Dentistry for options in protecting your teeth from injury.  It is always important to protect and maintain a healthy smile, but when dental trauma does occur call our office today to get started on protecting and maintaining your smile.

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