It may seem unusual to link sport with dentistry but the relationship between these two multifaceted areas is becoming increasingly important and high-profile. Many people may assume that sport has very little to do with dentistry but this is not the case and the relationship between the two has become a subject of intrigue in many spheres, including sporting performance and physiology, as well as product development, design and dental practice.
Common examples of dental injuries include broken and chipped teeth, damage to the jaw joint, including fractures and lost teeth. The impact of objects or surfaces can have a serious effect on the teeth and the surrounding structures and teeth can easily be knocked out by falling awkwardly, tripping or getting a ball in the mouth. In many cases, a tooth that has been knocked out can be saved if you act fast enough and see a dentist quickly. If you do still have the tooth, try to insert it back into the socket and apply gentle pressure using a cloth; if you cannot do this, keep the tooth in a glass of milk until you can see your dentist.
In addition to treating broken or lost teeth, sports dentistry is also concerned with damage to the facial structures and conditions that are associated with these injuries. This may include damage to the gums, gum disease or abnormalities with the jaw joint.
Preventing dental injuries
Dental injuries are extremely common in sport, especially in contact sports and sports that involve hard objects or surfaces. As a result of this, it is no surprise that there has been an increase in the range of equipment and products designed to protect sports players and athletes. In the past, a simple mould-it-yourself mouth guard was an option for safety conscious participants but now times have changed and technology and design have become incredible advanced and you can buy state of the art, performance enhancing mouth guards, which can make a significant difference to an athlete’s performance.
The science and technology behind some of the modern gadgets is incredible and it is hard to believe that simply wearing a special mouth guard can actually make a difference to overall sporting performance. However, years of research and trials have proven this to be true and elite athletes can now add this to the collection of sophisticated equipment available to them.
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