Dental injuries occur most often to the front upper and lower teeth, resulting in pain or discomfort of varying degrees. Minor injuries may require simple monitoring of the traumatized area only. More severe injuries may cause the tooth or teeth to become loose and damage the nerve inside. In these cases, the tooth may be repositioned and root canal therapy initiated in order to prevent more serious sequelae. Trauma may also result in discoloration of the injured tooth, which can be treated with root canal therapy and internal bleaching of the discolored crown.
The American Association of Endodontists’ position on the use of mouth guards to prevent dental injury is as follows:
Impact injuries to the dentition, such as those occurring during participation in sports, often result in the need for endodontic treatment. The American Association of Endodontists recommends the use of mouth guards during participation in sports as their use may minimize the effect of impact injuries on the dentition and supporting structures. Participants in sporting events are encouraged to contact their dentist for fabrication of a custom mouth guard. In addition, organizers and coaches of children’s sports are encouraged to recommend and/or require the use of mouth guards for all of their participants.