Our dental communities love celebrating different holidays each month to help raise awareness for various dental conditions. One of the most ignored issues that patients often deal with is facial trauma, with a core focus on protecting your teeth, gums, and mouth from injury and decay. Whether you take part in sports or experienced an accident, it’s essential to visit your dentist to make sure that you can recover from your dental injuries as soon as possible. But how does an orthodontist approach your injury? And why do we so often emphasize wearing protective gear? We’re here to give you an inside look into our approach as orthodontists.
The Prevalence of Oral Injuries From Trauma
Facial trauma can be a complex injury, and in serious cases, requires the attention of an oral surgeon. Most often, maxillofacial trauma and dentoalveolar injuries to the teeth and bones can lead to permanent facial disfigurement, which can present big challenges in the future for repair and healing. The prevalence of dental injuries, especially among children, has a higher risk of developing dental injuries due to increased activity in sports, playing, and bicycle riding. With these risks in mind, dentists and surgeons often have to work cooperatively in their communities to provide immediate care and extensive long-term care for injuries sustained after trauma.
Studies from the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry journal outline some of the most common correlations between dental injuries and other factors such as age, gender, and activities. The study reports that out of its collected data, researchers found:
- Out of the total volunteers examined, over 60% of people affected by dental trauma were males compared to 30% of females. Out of those people, the statistical distance was significant enough to be prominent.
- In most dental injuries out of the group, 84% reported trauma to one tooth, while only 14% reported it in more than one tooth.
- The permanent maxillary incisors were the most commonly affected tooth out of the reported trauma.
- Out of the varieties of injuries sustained, the group most often sustained their injuries due to falling while playing, bicycle falls, medical problems associated with their oral health, and road accidents.
The frequency of these injuries especially falls, places high importance on protective gear, especially for the teeth, gums, and jawline. The maxillary incisor is often the most vulnerable tooth due to its protrusion along the jawline. Even as these injuries occur, the most common injuries to the teeth are enamel fractures without pulp involvement.
However, even while some of the most common injuries are presented less chronically and severely compared to other types of injuries, maintaining preventative measures to avoid future injuries is a crucial part of good, comprehensive dental care.
How Orthodontists Work To Prevent Dental Trauma
With this month being National Facial Protection Month, orthodontists work to provide extensive resources for parents wishing to learn more about keeping their children’s mouth and teeth safe from traumatic injury. For orthodontic treatment, mouth guards present some of the best protection against traumatic injuries and help children become more accustomed to wearing mouth guards during sports activities and bicycling. Other protective gear, including helmets, can significantly reduce the impact of dental injuries, reducing the injury patterns and frequency of those injuries significantly. Orthodontists also can help treat children’s teeth by reducing malocclusion using braces and clear aligners, helping children align their teeth so that the rate of dental trauma decreases overtime throughout their developmental years.
For more information about how orthodontists can treat dental injuries sustained from trauma, the best place to find those resources is to speak with your family dentist and be recommended to an orthodontist to help prevent future injury.