With the coming of spring, temperatures begin to warm and we are able to head back outdoors. More active than in the colder months—as we up our activity level, we also up the likelihood of experiencing a dental injury.
It should come as no surprise that athletes are far more susceptible to dental injury—in fact, sports related injuries are responsible for 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries. Each season, a player has a 10 percent chance of suffering a facial injury—in their entire sporting career, the odds are as high as 33 to 56 percent.
Did you know? April is National Facial Protection Month! Dr. Quereshy and Dr. Usman encourage you to enjoy the spring season—but, be sure to use common sense and to take any necessary precaution to protect and prevent facial injuries.
Effects of Injury
For adults and children alike, chipped, cracked, dislodged, or avulsed teeth pose a long term risk to any athlete. Commonly, risks associated with facial trauma include:
- Aesthetically Displeasing: A chipped, broken, or missing tooth too easily ruins a beautiful and healthy smile.
- Loss of Functionality: Not all injuries are visible. Trauma may cause teeth to become loose in their sockets—making it difficult to eat and speak.
- Jaw/Bite Irregularities: Trauma to the jaw can cause teeth to become poorly aligned. Imperfect alignment can lead to uneven teeth wear and further complications such as TMJ.
So, What Is One To Do?
Prevention is key. Mouth guards prove to be the most effective protective measure. Mouth guards prevent injury to the teeth, lips, and the tongue. According to the Massachusetts Dental Society, athletes who do not wear a mouth guard are 60 times more likely to suffer a mouth related injury. The trouble is, too few athletes choose to wear a mouth guard. While football players are required to wear mouth guards, only 75 percent do. And, in sports like baseball, softball, and soccer that do not require a mouth guard, the rate is a dismal 7 percent. Not to mention the number of injuries that occur in so-called recreational sports that one would rarely wear a mouth guard for.
Struggling to pick out a proper mouth guard? The highly trained team at Visage Surgical Institute are happy to help. Mouth guards are most effective when fit correctly fit to an individual’s mouth. When improperly aligned or too loose, the mouth guard cannot offer the same degree of protection. A proper fit will also help the mouth guard to be more manageable as well as comfortable.
What About Injury?
At Visage Surgical Institute, we understand that accidents—and injuries—do happen. Take these two steps to prevent permanent damage:
- See a specialist: Both Dr. Quereshy and Dr. Usman are proud to be members of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS)—an organization established to promote, protect, and advance oral and maxillofacial surgery to assure excellence for surgeons and patients alike. Specializing in endodontics, Usman is better able to help patients “who are experiencing oral pain or who have sustained and injury to their teeth.” As she says, it is her “job to do everything possible to restore a patient’s teeth to a state of health and full functionality.”
- Seek treatment immediately: Do not hesitate! Waiting can influence the type of treatment available—especially if the tooth was completely out of the mouth.
Under Dr. Usman’s care, tooth injury does not have to have long-lasting effects on your oral health.
A Healthy Grin with Dr. Usman & Dr. Querehsy
At the Visage Surgical Institute, we understand the importance of tooth and oral health. Prevention and protection are key. With summer around the corner, we advise you to make sure your teeth are properly protected. We are always here to help! We will gladly take the time to answer any questions you may have related to sport and traumatic injury.