The Proper Handling of Knocked-Out Teeth in Sports Injuries

Wednesday 19 July 2017, 3:06PM
By Taylor Burley Kleiman Dental


Pain is one of the common reasons people visit a dentist. Athletes often experience sports accidents, causing them to break or lose their teeth.

When sports injuries affect the teeth or gums, players should never ignore them. The injury could damage nerves or blood vessels, and there is also the risk of a tooth infection. Knocked-out teeth, or avulsed teeth, are one of the most serious dental emergencies for permanent teeth. That is why it is crucial for a person to find an emergency dentist right away after suffering a sports injury. By acting quickly, athletes will be able to save their tooth.

  • Handle the tooth gently. When a tooth gets severed from the socket, the force often destroys the ligament attached to it. For the tooth to survive, the tiny nerve fibres should remain attached to it. A sports injury victim should, therefore, carefully pick up the tooth by the crown instead of the root.


  • Keep the tooth moist. Bathing the knocked-out tooth in saliva is a good way to keep it alive. If a young child cannot safely store the tooth in his/her mouth, a glass of cold, whole milk can also function as a life extender for the tooth.


  • Try slipping the tooth back in the socket. In most cases, an avulsed tooth will easily slip back into its socket. If it fails to go back into place, however, keep the tooth moist and apply a cold, wet compress to help with the bleeding.


Emergency Dental Care

Dentists help by flushing debris from the socket and slipping the tooth back into place.  Ideally, it should happen within an hour following the accident. Following tooth reimplantation, a patient must go through a root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp.

Depending on the severity of the injury, however, treating a traumatic dental injury is not as easy as slipping a tooth back into place. Some patients might require a dental implant procedure to replace lost teeth. Apart from looking like a normal tooth, dental implants have a success rate of 98%.