by Dr. Karnakova, DDS
Dental injury in sports is a commonly encountered issue for both children and adults. All sports carry a risk for injury while contact sports carry the highest risks for dental related injuries. Parents who actively enroll their children in sports must be aware of the potential risks for dental injury in order to make the necessary measures to minimize them.
Currently, the three sports that carry the most risks for dental injury include football, basketball, and hockey. A positive correlation can be made between the degree of contact and percentage of injury. Some of the most common injuries include fractures, tooth extrusion, intrusion and avulsion; and TMJ dislocation.
According to the American Dental Association, the use of mouth guards by children has prevented an average of 200,00 dental related injuries in football alone. Children are at the highest risk to sports-related dental injuries between the ages of seven and eleven. As parents it is important to educated children the importance of preserving both primary and permanent dentition. Visiting a dental professional to fabricate custom mouth guards has been proven to minimize the greatest risks for dental trauma.