Dental Injuries

Head and Face
NASPE/NCAT Sport Injury Resource

Any blow to the jaw area can potentially cause injury to the teeth. Dental injuries can occur regardless of the sport being played. By knowing what to do and how to do it can help save a tooth.

If the tooth is completely knocked out of the socket, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not handle the tooth by its roots.
  • If there is debris on the tooth, rinse it with saline solution
  • Try to replace the tooth back into the socket as quickly as possible. Stabilize the tooth by biting down lightly on a gauze pad, handkerchief or towel.
  • If you are unable to replant the tooth, place it in the athlete’s saliva or sterile saline solution.
  • The last resort would be to place the tooth in a cup of water.
  • Transport the athlete immediately to a dentist.
You need to get the tooth replanted within 30 minutes of injury for the highest degree of success.

Fractured Tooth
When a tooth is fractured, it is often very sensitive due to exposed nerve endings. An athlete with a fractured tooth is more comfortable keeping their mouth closed. The following should be done when a fractured tooth occurs:

  • Keep/collect any loose portions of the tooth and take them with you to the dentist.
  • Stabilize the remaining piece of tooth with a gauze pad, handkerchief or towel.
  • Immediately transport the athlete and tooth fragment to the dentist.

Mouth Guards
A majority of dental injuries can be prevented if the individual wears a fitted mouth piece/guard. If you have any questions, contact your dentist.

Refer to the following website for further information on dental injuries:

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American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance