Living in Fort Atkinson means we have a lot of outdoor sporting opportunities and with those comes the possibility for dental injuries. You don’t have to play sports to experience a dental injury. A dental injury might occur from getting into a car accident, simply tripping and taking a bad fall, or from using your teeth as tools. Although dental injuries are common, they don’t have to be. Discover the dental injuries you might encounter in your lifetime and our tips on how to keep your smiling healthy.
Common Causes of Dental Injuries
A dental injury can occur at any time and due to a number of causes. In some cases, you may need to visit the emergency room before visiting a dentist if you’re experiencing excessive bleeding and other injuries in your body. Regardless, here are the most common causes of dental injuries.
You can easily experience a dental injury if you were to get into a car accident, take a bad fall, or if any type of excessive force hits your face. Although there is no real way to avoid accidents from happening, it’s important to know that they are a major contributor to dental injuries.
Using Teeth as Tools
Whenever you use your teeth for anything that isn’t eating, you risk harming them. For instance, if you use your teeth to break pills in half, eventually you’re going to go bite a pill and it’s going to crack your tooth. Using your teeth as tools like opening packages, breaking things, or biting your nails can lead to stress fractures and cracks. You might not think you’re damaging your teeth, but too many stress fractures can result in a crack.
Sports Dental Injuries
One of the most common causes of dental injuries is sports. Sports account for 13 to 39% of all dental injuries.
The following sports contribute to the most dental injuries:
- Equestrian events
- Extreme sports
- Field events
- Field hockey
- Ice hockey
- Inline skating
- Martial arts
- Shot putting
- Sky diving
- Water polo
- Weight lifting
Here in Fort Atkinson, we see a lot of dental injuries from mountain biking at the glacial River Trail Mountain Bike Park or from skiing or snowboarding at Highlands of Olympia.
Types of Dental Injuries That Can Occur
Before you experience a dental injury, it’s helpful to know what types of dental injuries you might experience and how they’re typically treated.
One of the most common types of dental injuries is a cracked or chipped tooth. When you crack or chip your tooth, the first step for treatment is to take x-rays to understand how significant the chip or crack is. In some cases, the crack might extend into the root which would result in the need for a root canal. Depending on your x-ray, our Fort Atkinson dentists will recommend dental bonding, a dental crown, and/or root canal.
If your tooth breaks, our dentists will request an x-ray first. Then, if the tooth is salvageable, they will likely recommend a dental crown to restore strength, structure, and function back to the tooth.
Dislodged or Lost Tooth
If your tooth becomes dislodged, it’s important to visit our dentists as soon as possible. We need to put the tooth back in place or it can lead to a lot of problems down the line.
On the other hand, if your tooth becomes knocked out, it’s important to retrieve the lost tooth and keep it in a cup of milk or saliva and get to our dental office as soon as possible. Apply pressure to gauze over the socket to stop the bleeding in the meantime.
When you visit our office, we will try to place the tooth back in place. However, it’s important to note, that the longer you take to get to our dental office, the less likely we will be able to put it back in successfully.
If your dental injury fractures the root of the tooth, we will need to provide you with a root canal followed by a dental crown to save your tooth.
How to Prevent Dental Injuries
If you want to prevent dental injuries, we offer a few tips.
- Wear a mouth guard during all sports
- Don’t use your teeth as tools
- Avoid chewing on hard candy or ice
- Don’t chew on pencils or anything that isn’t food
- Keep your floor clean and pay attention to your surroundings to avoid tripping
If you do happen to experience a dental injury and require treatment, our Fort Atkinson dentists are happy to help. Please book an appointment at BKS Dental today by calling (920) 563-7323.