Surfing is a seemingly casual, harmless water activity when you look at it from the shore. But, do not let this water sport deceive you.
Injuries are common among surfers as you level-up your performance to more massive waves. Some of these injuries are progressing or occur over long periods, while others are spontaneous and happens because of irregular body movements and collisions.
An errant surfboard tip can damage the eye which can lead to vision damage. A collision with the rails, fins, and nose of the surfboard, coral reefs, submerged rocks, and ocean floor can cause head trauma. Lacerations can also be incurred as the tips and edges of a surfboard can be sharp and slice the feet and hands, resulting in a need for stitches. Surfing can also lead to a shoulder strain.
Aside from the injuries mentioned above, a surfer can also suffer traumatic dental injuries due to a mishap, collision, accidents, bad fall, among others. Dental injuries may include a dislodged tooth, chipped or fractured tooth, avulsed tooth, root fractures.
How to handle dental trauma?
Going to the dentist remains as the most recommended thing to do when trauma to the tooth or its surrounding areas happens. But, because going to the dentist can take a considerable amount of time, there are things you can do to deal with dental trauma while waiting for proper treatment temporarily.
For a dislodged or knocked out permanent tooth:
- Hold the tooth not by its root but by its crown.
- Keep the tooth root alive by putting it in a balanced salt solution, milk, or between the inside of the lower lip and gums or tongue. However, caution must be observed as a possibility of the tooth getting swallowed is likely.
For a cracked or chipped permanent tooth:
- Gather all the tooth’s broken parts, if possible.
- Wash your mouth with warm water.
If your tooth is loose, it will be best to go to the dental office to reattach it before it gets pulled entirely out. The dentist can do tooth splinting to stabilize the tooth, enabling the roots to reattach. If the loose tooth is chipped or dislodged, follow the above tips accordingly.
Make sure to visit your dentist as soon as you can to get the proper treatment. The longer the treatment is overdue, the lesser the chance of repairing and restoring the tooth to its full functionality.
How can I prevent dental trauma from happening?
As surfing can be unpredictable, taking extra caution when surfing is probably the best thing to do. Follow the proper methods of surfing and double-check all conditions — the water, your surfboard, your body, and the environment — before challenging the waves.
You can also reduce the risk of dental injuries in surfing with the help of mouthguards. Although there are readily-available mouthguards in a sports store, it is recommended to go for a custom-fitted mouthguard. A custom-fitted mouthguard, as its name suggests, is custom-made to fit your mouth, offering comfort and optimum protection against unwarranted injuries. However, these mouthguards are also more expensive than the store-bought ones as they are produced in a laboratory with the help of your dentist.