Getting hurt as an athlete used to be a rite of passage, and they'd proudly bear the scars to prove it. Fortunately, this isn't the case in oral health; modern dentistry can now repair almost any tooth injury sustained while playing a sport.
SEVERAL INJURIES OCCUR DURING PLAYING SPORTS
Dislocated or loose milk tooth — The most common injury to the primary teeth is dislocation of the front teeth. The management of these injuries focuses on preventing future damage to the permanent teeth.
A primary tooth that is loose may be left in place or, if interfering with the bite, it may be removed. In many cases, a loose tooth will heal without treatment. Injured teeth that are very loose may need to be removed if there is a possibility that the tooth could fall out easily or cause the child to choke (eg, while sleeping).
If the primary tooth was knocked out completely, it should not be placed back into the gums because of the risk of damage to the permanent tooth to follow. Losing a front primary tooth early does not typically affect the child's speech or the position of the permanent tooth.
Broken milk tooth — Children with broken teeth should see a dentist promptly. The dentist will determine if the tooth's nerves or blood vessels could be damaged. Treatment may include smoothing the rough edges of the tooth, repairing it with a tooth-colored resin material, leaving the tooth in place, or removing it.
Dislocated permanent tooth — A permanent tooth that is knocked out is a dental emergency that requires prompt treatment. The tooth should be placed back into the tooth socket as soon as possible, ideally within 15 minutes and up to one hour (or longer if stored in cold milk). At least 85 percent of teeth that are put back in the tooth socket within five minutes survive, compared to very few teeth that are stored dry and reimplanted after one hour
Because of the importance of replacing the tooth quickly, the child, parent, or another adult can (and should) attempt to reimplant the tooth. The following steps are recommended:
●Handle the tooth carefully by the top (crown)
●Remove any debris by gentle rinsing the tooth with saline or tap water; the tooth should not be scrubbed or sterilized.
●Place the tooth by hand back into the socket.
●Keep the tooth in place by having the child bite on a clean towel or handkerchief.
●The child should see a dentist for treatment as soon as possible.
If it is not possible to replace the tooth in the gums, the tooth should be stored in a container of cold milk. If cold milk is not immediately available then place the tooth in a container of the child's saliva. Do not store the tooth in water, because this will reduce the chances of successful healing of the reimplanted tooth. The child should see a dentist or other healthcare provider as soon as possible to reimplant the tooth. The likelihood that the tooth will survive is reduced the longer the tooth is out of the mouth.
Loose permanent tooth — A loose permanent tooth that is interfering with the child’s bite is also a dental emergency that requires prompt treatment. In most cases, the tooth can be returned to its correct position and monitored over time. However, it may be necessary to use anaesthesia (to prevent pain) and stitches or splints (to hold the tooth in place). A dentist with experience in treating dental injuries in children is the best person to evaluate and treat children with loose permanent teeth.
Broken permanent tooth — Broken permanent teeth can usually be repaired successfully. For the best possible outcome, the child should see a dentist for treatment within two days from the time of the injury. Broken teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold need to be treated urgently. Tooth fragments should be saved, if possible, and stored in tap water as they can sometimes be reattached. If tooth fragments cannot be found or cannot be reattached, the tooth may be repaired with a material called composite resin, which can be matched to the color of the natural tooth.
Mouth injuries — The evaluation and management of mouth injuries depends upon how the injury happened, what areas are injured, and the severity of the injury.
Tears — Small wounds or tears inside the mouth usually do not require stitches. Tears of the flap of skin under the upper lip (the frenulum) also heal without stitches.
Cuts to the tongue that are large, especially if near the tip of the tongue, may require stitches. Wounds that involve the outer part of the lips and extend into the skin also frequently require stitches
Puncture wounds — Wounds to the back of the throat can occur if a child falls while holding a pencil, toothbrush, or other object. If the object penetrates the side of the back of the throat, near the tonsils, there is a risk of injury to the carotid artery (a large blood vessel). A child with this type of injury may require an imaging test and/or evaluation by a surgeon and will sometimes require hospitalization or surgery