Mouth Injury from Sports: What to Do

an athlete
  • Full-contact sports can confer physical and mental health benefits and build confidence.
  • Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth and reduce swelling with ice.
  • Clean the wound to avoid infection and check for teeth, lip, jaw, and gum damage.
  • Visit a dentist for an accurate diagnosis and professional recommendations.
  • Wear a mouthguard to reduce the risk of sustaining a mouth injury.

Physical contact sports can be a great way to stay active, build strength and resilience, and foster team-building skills. Studies have shown that full-contact sports such as rugby and football can confer significant physical and mental health benefits.

Physical benefits of full-contact sports include improved cardiovascular health, coordination, balance, muscular endurance, and agility. Research conducted at the University of Melbourne found that playing full-contact sports was strongly associated with improved cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescent girls. Similarly, a study by the University of Toronto found that adolescents who played full-contact sports had better motor coordination than their non-athletic peers.

In addition to physical health benefits, full-contact sports can bring significant psychological advantages. Participation in these activities can help children develop confidence through mastering new skills. Regular practice can also increase self-esteem as participants experience personal growth through developing teamwork skills and learning to overcome field challenges. The camaraderie among teammates is another essential benefit, as it can promote positive relationships between players and foster social skills like cooperation and communication.

However, full-contact sports can lead to injuries. One of them involves various damages to the mouth. People will most likely draw blood upon contact, requiring medical assistance. Unfortunately, you might be on your own, making it necessary to take these steps.

Stop the Bleeding

After sustaining a mouth injury from a physical contact sport, the priority is to stop the bleeding. This can be done by applying pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. Please seek medical attention if the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes. It is essential to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible to prevent further tissue damage and reduce the risk of infection.

Mouth injuries are often accompanied by swelling and bruising. Applying ice to the area can help reduce swelling. To do this, wrap ice in a clean cloth or towel and apply it to the injured area for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this every few hours for the first 24-48 hours after the injury.

Unfortunately, the wound might be massive enough to require stitches. This delicate process should only be handled by a medical professional. Once the bleeding has stopped, it is essential to clean the wound to prevent infection. Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris from the injury site. It is essential to avoid scrubbing the wound, as this can damage new tissue and slow down the healing process.

Check for Damages

A person with missing tooth

When assessing the severity of a mouth injury, it is essential to check for any damages. Here are the areas to consider:


Any teeth damage should be evaluated for chips or cracks, as these could result in permanent damage that requires additional treatment. Locating the tooth will be vital to ensure immediate reattachment. If not, you might need same-day dental implant procedures to secure mouth health.


It is also essential to check for cuts or lacerations on the lips, as these can increase the risk of infection. Bruise or swelling will disappear after one or two days.


Any injuries to the jaw should be closely monitored for signs of displacement or misalignment of bones. This could indicate a fracture or dislocation and requires immediate medical attention.


Finally, assessing any possible damage to the gums and soft tissues inside the mouth is essential. Bleeding gums may signal severe tissue damage due to trauma and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Go to the Dentist

Getting dental checkup after mouth injury

Unfortunately, you might not know the full extent of a mouth injury until you visit a dentist. They can accurately identify and diagnose damages and provide professional advice on treatment options such as dental implants or fillings.

You can find a dentist near you who accepts your insurance coverage using the American Dental Association’s website. This can help to ensure that all of your dental needs are met in an affordable and timely manner.

Following up with your dentist after an injury is essential, as some damage may not be immediately noticeable. Follow-up visits are necessary for continued assessment and treatment if needed.

Dentists will also recommend the proper safety gear to help protect against mouth injuries when playing full-contact sports. A custom-fitted mouthguard should be worn at all times while participating in any physical activities, as this will significantly reduce the risk of oral trauma or fractures.

Final Thoughts

Mouth injuries are a common occurrence in full-contact sports. It is essential to stop the bleeding, clean the wound, and check for any damages. Please visit a dentist as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and professional treatment recommendations. Wearing a mouthguard at all times while participating in physical activities can help reduce the risk of sustaining a mouth injury.

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