Spring is quickly approaching, and with it, many of our children are signing up for sports. Soccer, softball, hockey: no matter which sports your kids are involved in, there is a risk of tooth injury related to sports. The good news is that advances in dental treatment make tooth injuries reparable; however, it is good to be aware of the types of injuries that may occur as well as the treatment you can expect when you visit your emergency dentist in Los Angeles.
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If your child is struck in the face suddenly, there may be a resulting crack that develops in a tooth. This may be difficult to see with the naked eye. There are symptoms that may indicate that there is a crack in a tooth. These include:
- Feeling pain in that tooth when biting down, but not at other times
- Inconsistent pain in that tooth
- Pain associated with eating or drinking hot or cold food
- Discovering that a portion of the tooth enamel has broken off
In cases where a cracked tooth is suspected, the dentist will need to evaluate the tooth as soon as possible. In some instances a tooth may need to be removed or a root canal done; in other instances, the damage may be so minor that the tooth can remain in place.
This unusual injury occurs when a permanent tooth is struck, but the tooth is driven into the jawbone instead of being knocked out. This can occur because the bones that hold the tooth sockets have not hardened to the extent they will when they achieve adulthood.
- Damage to the tooth pulp
- Tooth resorption (root shortening)
- In instances of possible intrusion, you should arrange to visit your child’s dentist as soon as possible
Fracture to a Root
A blow to a tooth may fracture the root of the tooth instead of the tooth itself. This type of injury is generally underneath the surface of the tooth and not readily visible. It is generally treated by a root canal.
The best way to avoid damage that can be caused to teeth due to sports injuries is to use protective gear. Using the appropriate gear prevents hundreds of thousands of injuries per year.
If your child plays a close contact sport, such as soccer, football, volleyball or hockey, a mouth guard is highly recommended. A good rule of thumb is that a mouth guard should be used when the sport involves balls, bats, or anything with a stick. (Plus any sports where 2 participants spar one-on-one, such as karate.)
Helmets can provide an extra layer of protection against contact injuries, as the object may be deflected by the helmet and faceguard. It is important to purchase the helmet that is recommended for your child’s specific sport.
If your child has experienced a mouth injury and you suspect that a tooth may be damaged, please call our office for a free dental consultation with our emergency dentist in Beverly Hills.
Any of our emergency dentists in Los Angeles will be happy to answer any questions that you have.