My son spars every week in Karate. He’s been kicked in the mouth a few times. We’ve been fortunate so far. The youth who’ve done the kicking had self-control, but I’m not so sure this is going to happen at some of his upcoming tournaments. He does have a mouthguard that his dojo sells, but it is uncomfortable and I have trouble getting him to wear it. Is there a way a dentist could make this more comfortable so he’d actually wear it? Also, what would happen if a tooth was knocked loose?
There is a way to help your son feel more comfortable wearing a mouthguard. The problem with his current one is it is probably a one size fits all piece of equipment. Everyone’s mouth is different, which is leading to your son’s discomfort. One thing I’m going to suggest is to see a dentist who offers custom-fitted mouthguards.
You’ll want to make sure it is the right type of mouthpiece for his sport. For instance, Dr. Krutchick offers two types of custom mouth guards using the Under Armour Performance Mouthwear. One is for non-contact sports the other designed specifically for athletes who will take trauma to the mouth.
The fitting doesn’t take long and your son will be much more comfortable and willing to wear his mouthguard while sparring. It has the additional benefit of protecting his TMJ joint because it is properly fit by a dentist.
If He Has Trauma to a Tooth
Let’s say your son has some trauma to a tooth. You’ll want to get him in to see your dentist as soon as possible. If you tell them what happened, they should be more than willing to schedule an emergency appointment with him the following day. Make sure your son doesn’t mess with or wiggle the tooth in the meantime so he doesn’t risk damaging the ligaments further.
They’ll do x-rays to ensure there isn’t any internal damage to the tooth. If there is they’ll come up with a treatment plan from there depending on the severity of the damage to the root and pulp. If all that happened is the ligaments were stretched, they’ll temporarily splint the tooth to give the ligaments time to heal.
If the Tooth is Knocked Out
This is time sensitive. You only have about 30 minutes to get to the dentist in order to have the best chance of saving his tooth. Call the dentist right away and let him know what happened and that you’re on your way. This way the office can be ready for you when you arrive.
Next, secure the tooth. Only hold it from the crown (the visible part when you smile). Never touch the root. The root will need to be kept moist. If you have a glass of milk available, gently place it there for transportation. If not, it can always be kept between your cheek and gums.
Best of luck and I hope your son does well in his tournaments.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.