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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, October 16, 2017

Knocked Out Teeth

We've been sharing lots of reminders on how to keep your body safe during this fall sports season, but let's not forget about your pearly whites.
The American Association of Endodontists reports that more than 5 million teeth are damaged each year while playing sports. This number refers to teeth that have been fully knocked out, loosened or cracked.
Wearing a mouth-guard is the best way to protect your teeth while playing sports. Even if it’s not a full-contact sport like football or hockey, player collisions can be disastrous for an unprotected mouth.
Make sure the guard is brand new, and molded to fit your mouth exclusively. And look for products with the ADA Seal (American Dental Association).
In the event of a traumatic tooth injury, take these steps to minimize damage and help save the tooth:
  • If a tooth has completely been knocked out, pick it up by the crown (top) not the root at the bottom to help protect the nerve there.
  • Rinse the tooth in clean water if possible to remove any dirt or blood, and place it somewhere safe until you get medical assistance.
  • Safe spots for lost teeth include:
    • Back inside the mouth, gently stored between the gums and the cheek.
    • In a clean container filled with saliva, milk, or saline solution where the enzymes will help preserve it. Avoid submerging it in regular tap water as it can dry out the tooth and delicate root tissue
    • Wrapped in a moist cloth, napkin, or paper towel.
Seek medical attention within 30 minutes of a lost tooth for the best chance of saving it. Teeth that have been knocked out can often be replanted, or splinted back into place if done quickly.
If it’s a primary, or baby tooth, the situation isn’t as dire because a permanent one will eventually grow in.
Additionally, if you suspect any broken bones (such as in the jaw or neck) accompanying a knocked-out tooth, or concussion-like symptoms, get help immediately.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).
(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)

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