Participating in sports is a fantastic way to stay active and enjoy life, but it can also pose risks to your oral health if you don’t take the necessary precautions. One such precaution is wearing a mouthguard. Without the right equipment, you can suffer severe dental issues. Your smile is a valuable asset. Protecting it should be a top priority when engaging in sports activities.
One of the most immediate and severe consequences of not wearing a mouthguard during sports is the risk of dental injuries. Sports like football, basketball, hockey, and soccer involve physical contact and the potential for accidents.
Impact to the face or mouth can cause teeth to chip, crack, or break. This can lead to pain and costly dental repairs. Additionally, a forceful blow can dislodge teeth from their sockets, requiring emergency dental treatment to reposition them.
The worst-case scenario is losing a tooth entirely. This not only affects your smile but also your ability to eat and speak properly.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Mouthguards not only protect your teeth but also your lips, cheeks, and tongue. Without proper protection, you’re at risk for soft tissue injuries. Accidental bites or impacts can cause cuts and lacerations to your lips, cheeks, and tongue. This can cause you great pain and discomfort.
Furthermore, trauma to the soft tissues can lead to bruising and swelling. It can make it difficult to eat and speak comfortably.
The jaw is a crucial part of your oral health. Not wearing a mouthguard can lead to various jaw injuries. A strong impact can fracture your jawbone. Some fractures may require surgical intervention and a lengthy recovery.
Additionally, repetitive impact or clenching of your teeth due to stress during sports can contribute to TMJ disorders. TMJ can cause jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty opening and closing your mouth.
Believe it or not, not wearing a mouthguard can increase your risk of concussions. A properly fitted mouthguard helps absorb the force of impact, reducing the chance of a concussion. Protecting your head and mouth at the same time is crucial for your overall safety.
Long-Term Dental Issues
Neglecting to wear a mouthguard during sports doesn’t just put you at risk for immediate injuries. It can have long-term dental consequences as well.
If your teeth break due to trauma, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay. This can lead to cavities and the need for fillings or root canals. Furthermore, dental injuries can lead to increased tooth sensitivity. As a result, it may make eating your favorite foods more difficult and uncomfortable.
Dental injuries can result in changes to the appearance of your smile. If you want it fixed, it may potentially require cosmetic procedures like veneers or crowns.
Not wearing a mouthguard can have a significant financial impact. Dental treatments, especially for injuries, can be pricey. Dental insurance may cover some of the costs. But, you’ll likely still face expenses. You can protect yourself and your bank account by wearing a mouthguard.