What Sports Have the Highest Rate of Dental Injuries?

Cartoon of a child getting a soccer ball in the face and sporting a chipped tooth.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that dental injuries are among the most common sports injuries? In fact, according to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, an estimated 3 million teeth are lost each year during sports events! Numerous studies have been done regarding youth sports and dental injuries. It’s not always the same sports that come out on top, but one thing is constant: many of these dental injuries are preventable!

Basketball & Baseball

Most studies show basketball and baseball as the two highest ranked sports for dental injuries. Basketball is a fast moving contact sport with a lot of elbows flying around. However, part of the reason for the high rate of injuries is that very few players wear mouth protection. The same is true for baseball. Because it isn’t technically a contact sport, players don’t usually protect their teeth. It takes only one encounter with a fast-traveling baseball to knock out a tooth. An errant bat can also cause a lot of dental damage.


Football is a contact sport that involves a lot of potential trauma to the head and mouth. Fortunately, most players wear mouth protection in addition to a helmet. However, it is still not uncommon for football players to experience knocked out teeth during the course of their playing careers.

Hockey & Lacrosse & Field Hockey

Flying sticks in addition to balls or pucks can lead to dental injuries. Additionally, hockey has a reputation for on-ice fights so even with mouth protection, dental injuries are likely. Lacrosse and field hockey are sports that have become very popular lately, especially with teenagers. Among girls’ sports, the incidence of mouth injuries is highest in field hockey.

Boxing, Wrestling & Martial Arts

Since boxing is all about throwing blows to your opponent’s face, you can expect dental injuries to be common! Even though there’s no punching in wrestling, injuries to the face and jaw still occur regularly. The same is true with martial arts, especially those that include kicks to the upper body.


Skateboarding injuries are common, especially for beginners. Since skateboarding usually takes place on hard surfaces like pavement, one fall can mean chipped or knocked out teeth. Skateboarders also rarely wear mouth protection.

Emergency Dentistry in Cypress, TX

Injuries happen. If you sustain a sports-related dental emergency, contact our office right away for instructions on what to do. We’ll get you in as soon as possible. Stay ahead of the game by getting your custom mouthguard ordered now. Contact our office for an appointment.


Alder Trails Dental

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