Point Guards & Mouth Guards
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Sports are a huge part of many of our lives, even if most of us in America don’t pay much attention to the World Cup as it “kicks off” this week. There is one huge sporting event wrapping up on that many of us certainly do care about: the NBA Finals. After watching the San Antonio Spurs kick Lebron’s Miami Heat in the teeth for 5 games, a thought crosses the mind, which sport is the most dangerous for our precious pearly whites, anyway?
We’ve all seen athletes chewing on their mouthpieces, sucking on them like lollipops, and even dropping them on the ground utilizing the vaunted 5 second rule to hastily try and save face. Well, surprisingly enough, there’s actually a purpose to those on-court distractions. High contact sports like football, hockey, and boxing have vastly reduced the number of mouth and face related injuries over the past 50 years with the introduction of these devices.
Oddly enough, according to a 9-year study out of the University of Southern California ending in 2007, the aforementioned teeth kicking of the NBA finals actually mirrors reality. Basketball was reported to have the highest percentage of traumatic dental injuries at over 10 injuries per 100 athletes. This of course goes hand in hand with the statistic that only 7% of basketball players take the precaution of using a mouth guard.
I think the obvious takeaway to this story is you or your child should always take the proper precautions to avoid dental injuries and dental surgery even when a sport is not full contact. However, if you have suffered one of these injuries, the doctors at Prescott Dentistry do provide oral surgery as well as cosmetic dentistry services including dental implants and porcelain veneers.
Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (06/13/2014) Peter Gordon (Flickr)