Dental injuries in sports, we can help

Did anyone see Mikel Arteta lose a tooth during a recent football match?  Whilst horrific to see, it is not that uncommon.  With Exeter University sports teams and numerous other amateur and professional clubs in the Exeter area we often have traumatic emergencies on the weekend. 

Usually after the Saturday matches we have patients who call our practice to arrange some emergency care such as putting a tooth back in or repairing broken parts.  We will see patients who have anything from chipped or lost a tooth.

We always advocate wearing a protective gum shield for your teeth whilst playing contact sports and equestrian eventing as well. They can be made in your team colours as well.  They cost around £120 and can massively reduce dental bills in the future!

When is a broken tooth an emergency?

If a tooth has come out of the mouth completely – it can be gently rinsed in water and placed back in the hole it came out from. Take care not to touch the root part that goes into the jaw. It will then need splinting by a dentist.

Another case is when the tooth is chipped and it bleeds.  Here the nerve or ‘pulp’ in the tooth is exposed which can lead to pain and infection.  This will need to be treated by a dentist quickly.

Teeth can also just be ‘bruised’.  This is where it has not chipped or been lost completely but has been bashed so the ligaments that it sits in are bruised.  Like any bruise this may take a week or two to completely heal.

Mike Hesketh

Owner & Principal Dentist 

The Exeter Dental Centre