Sports most likely to cause damage to your teeth
As we head into the summer months, children and adults alike will be back on the playing fields and be enjoying a wide range of summer sports. It’s a great time to be enjoying the outdoors; however, there are some sports (more than others) that can prove to be dangerous for your teeth.
Here are just some summer sports activities that can lead to tooth damage – and how you can keep that smile of yours safe.
Anyone who swims frequently could be at risk of developing a dark brown or yellow-brown stain on their teeth. For those of you who swim more than 6 hours a week, you are exposing your teeth to chemically treated pool water. Swimming pool water contains chemical additives that give the water a higher pH than your saliva. As a result, saliva proteins break down quickly and then form organic deposits on the teeth. These hard, brown spots are called *swimmers calculus* and they appear most frequently on the front teeth.
Professional cleaning by your dentist will often remove the swimmer’s calculus.
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This underwater sport is well enjoyed – all around the world, but it can lead to jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems or pain in the centre of the tooth – known as *Tooth squeeze*.
All of these symptoms add up to what has been called *divers mouth syndrome*. It is a condition caused by the change in air pressure involved in scuba diving, and by divers biting down too hard on their regulators. Tooth squeeze is due to the change in air pressure and is worse if a diver has a big cavity, gum disease, temporary filling or incomplete root canal therapy.
The best way to avoid any problems is to visit your dentist before scuba diving to make sure your teeth are in tip-top shape. Ask your dentist for advice in fitting the mouthpiece of an air regulator.
Non-contact sports –soccer, basketball, cricket etc
Soccer players are more likely to sustain a dental-related injury than football players. Soccer is a game where protecting the face or the use of mouthguards isn’t mandatory, which increases the odds for sustaining a mouth or face injury. Softball, baseball, basketball and games of touch football also involve similar risks. Any face contact while playing these sports can be costly – either for those wearing braces or for those who have already had extensive dental work.
When participating in these sports, a mouthguard is your best friend. Mouthguards prevent countless dental injuries every year. Wearing a mouthguard can prevent damage to dental work or braces, and it can prevent cuts to the mouth, tooth damage and jaw injuries.
There are many types of mouthguards available, talk to your dentist about which type of mouthguard is best for you.