Staying active is one of the most enjoyable parts of summer. However, summertime sports and recreation can leave your teeth vulnerable to damage. To protect yourself this summer, try the following simple tips for reducing your risk of suffering oral health issues during your favorite sports.

Take Precautions Before Contact Sports

Almost any active sport can open the door to traumatic tooth injuries, but this risk may be especially high with contact sports. Wearing a mouthguard can help you protect your teeth from chipping, cracking or worse damage. If you do not already own a mouthguard, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist in Palm Harbor, FL, to have a custom one designed.

Contact sports that are stressful or competitive may also promote bruxism, or tooth grinding. This can loosen or fracture your teeth, leading eventually to tooth loss. Clenching and grinding can also exaggerate other oral health issues, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). A custom-fitted mouthguard can help address this issue.

Watch for Issues During Water Sports

Water sports may seem harmless, but these activities can still negatively affect your oral health. Depending on your hobby, you could be at risk for the following issues:


↮Staining. If you spend several hours per week swimming in a pool, you may develop calculus deposits from exposure to the chemicals used in pool water.
↮Tooth squeeze. If you scuba dive, and if you have had fillings, decay or extractions, you may experience this painful sensation, which occurs when air becomes trapped in fillings or cavities.
↮Jaw joint issues. Sports such as scuba diving can also stress the jaw joint, causing pain or inflammation.

Fortunately, many of these issues may be addressed through treatment from a dental professional, as long as you seek treatment early.

Staying Safe This Summer

While you are enjoying your favorite sports this summer, stay alert to the sensations of your teeth, gums, and jaw and watch for warning signs of trouble. If you notice any potential issues, make sure to protect your health by calling 727-475-5519, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dan Knellinger or Dr. Stacey Verkler.