Sports Dental Injuries: Your Comprehensive Guide

The sun is out, so children and adults alike are heading outside to play sports. Nothing is quite like competing against others for the fun of the game! However, we at Emergency Dental want to keep you playing rather than sitting on the sideline due to an unfortunate dental injury. Sports always carry an apparent risk of injury with flailing hands hitting your mouth, fast-moving equipment banging your teeth, or high-speed balls coming straight toward your face. We are providing some preventative methods to protect your teeth so we don’t have to see you at our emergency clinic, and you can keep on having fun!

Common Sports Dental Injuries

We presented three possible dental injuries you or your children may incur while playing sports.

Cracked Teeth/Loss of Teeth

Cracked teeth are the most common dental injury when playing sports. A tooth can become chipped when receiving a hit to the face or teeth. Common symptoms from a cracked tooth include:

  • Immediate pain when you chew, bite, or close your mouth
  • Teeth feel sensitive to drinking and eating
  • Visual loss of teeth enamel

However, sometimes you won’t feel any such symptoms or visually see any cracks or chips in your teeth. So, visiting a dentist regularly (twice a year) is ideal to catch any inconsistencies regarding your teeth. If a cracked tooth is untreated, it could garner a bacterial infection. Hence, it is essential to visit your dentist or an emergency dental clinic, such as Emergency Dental Services, if your tooth must be removed due to the risk of infection.

Fractured Roots

This is caused when athletes receive a knock to the face at a certain angle, causing the root of their tooth to fracture. These injuries are more challenging to see since they often aren’t visible because they are near your gum line. If you have a root fracture, see a dentist immediately, as it usually requires root canal surgery.

Tooth Intrusion

Teeth intrusion is the opposite of teeth falling out from a blow, as it knocks your teeth inwards or sideways into the jawbone. This is more common among children because their baby teeth are weaker than adults. This injury will require the removal of the tooth and possibly an additional procedure if a bacterial infection also exists.

Protecting Your Teeth

Five million teeth are cracked or lost each year, with the highest number of dental injuries occurring in children aged 13-17 who play sports. This data suggests that parents must inform their children about protecting their mouths while playing sports.


The most effective method for protecting your teeth is mouthguards. The ADA (American Dental Association) states that not wearing a mouthguard during sporting activities doubles the likelihood of a dental injury. Mouthguards cover the top of your teeth entirely so you can receive blows to the face without cracking or losing teeth. They also prevent harsh bites from the bottom or top section of your teeth, which usually happen when falling hard onto the ground face or chin first. You can find mouthguards at most sporting stores or have your custom-made mouthguard at our clinic today!


Helmets are another option for protecting teeth, as any blow to the head can affect them. For sports that don’t already require helmets, such as skateboarding and biking, it is a good idea to wear a helmet to protect your head and teeth.

Sometimes Injuries are Inevitable

Even if you follow all of the precautions of dental safety when playing sports, such as wearing your mouthguard at all times, dental injuries can still happen. Emergency Dental Services provides expert emergency care for any dental injury. We are available 24/7 because we know injuries are never convenient. If you currently have a dental injury from sports or any other incident, you can call us at (703) 249-6248 or contact us on our website today!