In the summer, tooth injuries increase significantly. That’s because everyone is out enjoying the weather, and it encourages people to engage in more high-risk behaviors.
If you injure a tooth, it’s important to get reconstructive dentistry or other treatment quickly so that it’s most likely we can save the tooth and preserve your beautiful smile. However, it’s best to prevent tooth injury, so we recommend understanding the causes of tooth injury so you can prevent them.
Sports accidents are the most common cause of tooth injuries. Fortunately, they’re also one of the most preventable. Any kind of contact sport can result in tooth trauma, but one of the most common sports for tooth injury is basketball.
Basketball isn’t supposed to be a contact sport, so people often don’t wear a mouthguard, but with all the elbows flying as people fight over rebounds, oral trauma is very common.
It’s best to wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports, even if you’re only playing recreationally. In fact, injury might be even more likely if you are only a casual player because you’re more likely to push yourself beyond your limits and experience a fall or collision.
Unfortunately, violence remains a leading cause of tooth injury. When people fight, the face and teeth are a common target, and this can lead to chipped, cracked, or knocked out teeth.
To avoid this cause of tooth injury, try to avoid situations that can lead to violence. Recognize when a situation is getting out of control and try to de-escalate. Also, remember that about a third of fights involve a third party who gets hurt for butting in. Know when to intervene and when it’s best to mind your own business.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is also a common cause of tooth trauma. If you’re in an abusive relationship, recognize the truth of your situation and utilize available resources to get out before injury.
Everybody falls, sometimes for dumb reasons. Usually, you just scrape a knee or stain your skirt. But sometimes you can hit your mouth and experience a tooth injury. If you fall and hurt a tooth, it’s important to see a dentist and get it checked out.
If you’ve started falling more than in the past, exercise can help restore core strength and balance. If this doesn’t help, talk to your doctor.
Car accidents used to be the leading cause of tooth injury, but they’ve become less common. With all the safety equipment added to cars these days–especially airbags–dental injuries are less common than in the past.
However, safety equipment won’t help if you don’t use it, and airbags aren’t a substitute for seatbelts. In addition, airbags can actually cause dental injury, especially if they’re defective, as in the case of Takata airbags recently.
Motorcycle and Bicycle Injuries
Unlike cars, motorcycles and bicycles don’t surround and protect you. These remain a common cause of injury, especially when people don’t wear helmets. If you are riding a motorcycle, a full helmet can significantly reduce your risk of oral injuries.
Few people wear full helmets for bicycle riding. It’s probably not necessary, but perhaps a mouthguard is warranted if you ride often. Going over the handlebars is a common type of accident and it can lead to bad dental trauma.
Have You Suffered a Tooth Trauma?
Unfortunately, even with the best prevention, tooth trauma can still occur. If you do experience a tooth trauma, it’s important to see a dentist soon after to have the tooth checked so we can recommend the appropriate treatment.
For minor chipped teeth, dental bonding or porcelain veneers can restore the tooth to beauty and function. For more serious cracked teeth, a dental crown may be recommended, possibly with root canal therapy. Cracked or knocked out (avulsed teeth) can sometimes be saved, but other times, we may have to replace them with a dental implant or bridge.