While it is true that accidents can happen, our oral surgeon strongly encourages patients to take precautionary measures to protect teeth and gums. Traumatic tooth injuries often require corrective dental surgery or the need for replacement teeth such as implants. Unlike bone or connective tissue, a tooth cannot self-repair. When a tooth is injured, professional treatment is necessary to alleviate discomfort and repair damage. In some cases, traumatic injuries to teeth result in the need for extraction. Losing a tooth does more than impair a patient’s ability to chew food; it also presents risks to one’s oral health. When teeth are lost, patients eventually lose gum tissue and bone as well. Below are a few tips for preventing tooth injuries from our oral surgeon.
Wear a Protective Mouth Guard during Physical Activity
Contact sports are a common cause of dental injuries. Blunt trauma to the teeth caused by contact with another athlete or an accidental fall can dislodge, crack, or knock out teeth. Because contact sports possess a higher risk for facial injury, our team strongly encourages patients playing contact sports to invest in a protective mouth guard. These oral appliances are available at sporting goods stores. Made from soft, pliable materials, mouth guards comfortably protect teeth and gums.
Chew Food Carefully
Some patients require dental surgery after biting down on a piece of food such as an olive put or the bones in meat. When consuming food, we recommend taking smile bites and if necessary, using a knife to cut food into small, bite-sized pieces. This practice helps patients remove hard, destructive pieces of food more easily. Patients should be mindful of foods that could possibly contain seeds or pits, even if the food is marked as seedless or pitted.
Avoid Biting on Non-Edible Objects
Many people bite down on non-edible objects out of anxiety and nervousness. For example, chewing on pen caps weakens teeth over time by wearing cracks in enamel. This habit can lead to future dental injuries.