Like everyone else, in the New Year I am attempting to get in shape and in an effort to prevent my inevitable failure my wife is feeling the need to drag me to the gym with her. As I am watching her do bicep curls and waiting because yes we use the same weight, I warn her to be careful. It was just two weeks ago a patient came in having broken his front tooth doing that very same exercise. She began to wonder aloud if that was all that common and as I continued to talk and she continued to exercise I mentioned a majority of people actually tend to chip their teeth in just a few very specific ways.
- The Sibling-
By far the most common is the sibling. Apparently siblings love to throw anything and everything at one another and instead of the usual, “You could poke your eye out with that thing” parents should say, “You better not hit your brother with that thing.” Whether it is video game controllers, toy cars, a tennis racket and even rocks are found airborne during our adolescence.
- The Basketball pole-
Apparently neighborhood basketball games are a lot more aggressive than when I was growing up. Whether it is in the act of playing basketball or in running around playing tag the outdoor metal basketball pole is ALWAYS appearing out of nowhere to wreak havoc on childrens teeth.
- The Bike-
As expected the bike is quite a willing combatant when it comes to children and teeth, and it isn’t always in the process of showing off for the neighborhood ten year olds. Many times kids are simply riding their bike and for whatever reason go head over handlebars. Unsure of whether to put this event in the sibling or bike category was an episode of a not so innocent sibling jamming a stick in the spokes of a front tire to their older brother. Mom nor brother was happy with the outcome.
- The Bathtub-
After all of the broken and chipped teeth I have seen due to falling in a bathtub there are few things more disgraceful in my household than even thinking of standing up in a bathtub full of water. We all know how easy it is fall if the situation is just right or if an unnamed significant other “forgets” to tell you she cleaned the shower and it perhaps could be a little slippery. My shouts of attempted murder continue to go ignored from local authorities.
- The Pool bottom-
You would be surprised at how often this happens. Other than the sibling, the pool is probably the most common cause of chipped or broken teeth. Maybe it is you don’t see it coming like you would on a bike but it happens to kids as well as adults. Despite all of those warnings not to dive into the shallow area apparently it is still a thing that kids love to do and they pay for it. I have yet to find any child who has gotten the better of their run in with the bottom of the pool.
In addition to these very common circumstances, I have encountered a few more interesting situations where people have either broken or lost their teeth. Here is a picture of a patient after the metal part of a winch (pictured below) used to tie down cargo in a flatbed truck broke and swung around and hit him in the mouth. I had pulled the teeth which were very broken about 4-6 weeks prior to these pictures.
Disclaimer: If you get the least bit squirmy skip to the next story and the rest are just x-rays.
Secondly, of course I have to share a hockey related tooth injury. A friend of mine was coaching his son’s hockey team and while helping with practice had a puck hit him right in the mouth. He had to get his two front teeth pulled, implants and crowns on the two front teeth which were lost.
Here is the before x-ray, then an x-ray the day it happened and then the x-ray with the implants and new teeth.
Another crazy incident I have to mention is when a 16 year old came in and told his friend shot him with a BB gun and hit him in his front tooth! Flashlight tag is a little bit too safe I guess? Somehow miraculously the nerve was not exposed, the root wasn’t broken and his lip and gums had minimal damage.
Again, before, after accident, and the final crown.
One last incident which I don’t have pictures for was a female patient about 16 years old that had a dental implant in her front tooth. I suspected trauma because rarely is that tooth naturally missing and she was too young for it to need to be pulled due to decay. Suspecting the possibility of a good story I asked what happened and was not disappointed. She had informed me that she was tubing behind a boat and hit a wave and her knee came up, hit her in the mouth and knocked her tooth straight out into the water. I quickly asked her, “Who was driving the boat?” She replied with, “My Dad.” I said, “How mad was your Mother?” The girl said, “She yelled at him for about an hour and then didn’t talk to him for about a week.” As you can see, there are a number of different ways you can injure your teeth. To prevent any future unnecessary dentalwork and avoid being yelled at by your significant other for knocking out your child’s tooth always use caution to protect your pearly whites.