Sports Dental Injury

By: J. Shahangian, DDS, MS- San Diego Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Sports Injuries Overview
What do the following things have in common?

  • A ball
  • A bat
  • A hard surface (the hard bottom of a swimming pool or pavement)
  • A knee or elbow

This short list includes all of the possible objects that could lead to a serious accident during your child’s sports activities.  Your child’s participation in sports is a fun recreational activity that has serious risks associated.  Sports related injuries could result in a fractured or dislocated jaw, and even in a knocked out tooth.  Here is a list of activities that are considered high risk contact sports: hockey, football, boxing, martial arts (including kick-boxing and karate).  Here is a list of non-contact sports that are also high-risk: skateboarding, surfing, racquetball, wrestling, soccer, roller-blading, bicycle riding, baseball, and basketball.

Even swimming, a sport that is known for being gentle and graceful, can also be a hazardous site for your child.  Parents should teach their children to be careful in the pool area.  It is very easy for children to slip on the ceramic pools and cement floors.  These falls could lead to serious mouth injuries if your child falls head first.  A common accident occurs when children surface too quickly and hit their front tooth on the ledge.

Research conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry has shown that wearing mouth guards is a good preventive measure to take for sports-related activities.  A mouth guard is an essential first aid step to take for the safety of your child’s mouth.  Mouth guards are small plastic devices that fit into the mouth and guard the upper and lower part of the mouth.  These protective shields protect the gums, checks, teeth, and lips.  I also recommend using a well fitted mouth guard for your child because it provides extra protection to prevent any mouth injuries.[1]



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