What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk of Facial Trauma in Sports?

Facial trauma can affect athletes of any age. The risk of severe injuries in certain sports is well known, including contact sports like football and boxing. But even less aggressive sports can lead to serious facial trauma, such as tennis and softball. Maxillofacial trauma requires the specialized expertise of an oral surgeon in San Diego. A skilled oral surgeon can treat injuries like facial lacerations, fractured facial bones, fractured jaws, lacerations inside the mouth, and knocked out teeth. sports - helmet

Helmets and Facemasks

Full-face helmets and facemasks are required for certain sports. But even if you don’t belong to a team that requires the use of safety equipment, you should invest in a high-quality helmet or facemask regardless. Professional skiers, for instance, often protect themselves from facial trauma by wearing special racing helmets that feature an extension to protect the lower jaw from fractures in the event of a fall. When you shop around for a facemask, check that it will fit the helmet you have. Additionally, check with your coach or trainer regarding the right configuration of bars for your particular sport and position. Some facemasks are designed to offer more protection for the mouth area, while others are intended to offer less protection in favor of better visibility. This is why in football, linemen have more protective facemasks with less visibility, and quarterbacks have lighter facemasks with a more open bar configuration.

Mouthguards

Mouthguards are a must for preventing sports-related facial trauma that could require oral surgery. They’re also relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the expense of emergency treatments for mouth injuries. You could try an over-the-counter mouthguard that doesn’t require adjustment to fit your mouth, but you’ll likely find it too bulky. These are also more likely to slip out of place, and to interfere with speech and breathing. Instead, look for a boil-and-bite type of mouthguard that fits your teeth better. If you’re a serious athlete, you’re better off visiting a dental professional for a custom-made mouthguard. These tend to be the most comfortable and longest-lasting type of mouthguard.

The Link Between Gingivitis and Bleeding Gums

Sometimes, brushing and flossing can cause the gums to bleed. This shouldn’t be ignored, as it can indicate the presence of gingivitis. As you’ll learn when you watch this video, gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If it’s allowed to progress untreated, you may need to visit an oral surgeon in San Diego for extensive dental care. It’s possible for advanced gum disease to cause the teeth to loosen, which means you might need one or more dental implants.

This featured video explains that healthy gums fit snugly against each tooth, are a pale pink color, and have a slightly rough, orange peel-like texture. If you have gingivitis, you might notice that your gums are a darker red, smoother, and swollen. Although gingivitis causes bleeding gums, it doesn’t typically cause pain.

Dealing with Injuries to Dental Structures

Facial injuries can cause considerable damage to the oral structures , including facial bone fractures, knocked out teeth, jaw fractures, and lacerations of the mouth. Car accidents and sports incidents are common causes of facial injuries. Although patients may visit the ER first, they’re often referred to a specialist. Oral surgeons in San Diego have the extensive training necessary to provide the delicate treatment that facial injuries require. When determining the best approach to treat a patient, an oral surgeon will consider the long-term functional and aesthetic outcomes.

Before suturing a facial laceration, the oral surgeon assesses the possibility of additional injuries, such as damage to the nerves and salivary ducts. The treatment of broken facial bones requires the innovative use of surgical hardware to stabilize the structures as they heal, as it isn’t possible to use a cast on the face. Oral surgeons can even replant teeth that have been knocked out, as long as the patient receives care promptly and the displaced tooth has been properly preserved. With the right emergency dental care, patients can look forward to restored function and appearance.

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Examining the Role of PRP in Your Oral Health Care

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an exciting medical development currently in use in multiple fields—from orthopedist clinics to oral surgery offices in San Diego. PRP essentially magnifies your body’s own healing abilities to help you recover faster. If your oral surgeon agrees that PRP therapy is right for you, you’ll have a small amount of blood taken and processed. The platelet-rich plasma, which contains concentrated growth factors, is then reintroduced to the surgical site to support healing. dentist - repair

PRP for Fistula Repair

Fistulas are abnormal pathways between structures. An oronasal fistula is a pathway between the nose and the mouth. An oromaxillary fistula is a pathway between the roof of your mouth and one of the sinus cavities on either side of your nose. It’s possible to be born with a fistula, or it may develop from trauma or surgery, such as a cleft repair. Fistulas can also develop from oral abscesses. Your oral surgeon can perform a fistula repair to close off the hole. PRP therapy can play a vital role in fistula repair because it contains bone morphogenic protein (BMP). This protein encourages the formation of new bone tissue to heal the area.

PRP for Bone Defect Repair

All medical treatments have the potential for complications, and oral surgery is no different. Sometimes, after the surgeon extracts an oral cyst or a failed tooth, a bone defect may develop. This refers to the deterioration of the bone mass. Bone defects can also develop as a result of periodontal disease, facial trauma, unanchored dentures, facial tumors, and teeth misalignment. Oral surgeons can use platelet-rich plasma to build up the deteriorated bone mass. The surgeon can saturate the area with PRP, and apply bone substitute materials to restore the integrity of the bone.

PRP for Dental Bone Grafting

Oral surgeons may perform bone grafting as a precursor to dental implant surgery. The bone graft adds mass to an area where the jawbone has deteriorated and is not capable of securely supporting an implant post. Your surgeon can use PRP therapy when placing the bone graft material to help strengthen the new bone tissue and heal the area more quickly.