Celtics Guard Isaiah Thomas Loses Tooth During the Middle of Playoff Game

Posted on: May 5, 2017

Blake Griffin with Mouthguard
It’s actually quite common for basketball players to injure or lose their teeth during games. Despite popular belief, basketball is one of the more physical sports a person can play. Next time you watch a professional game, try to pay attention to how often players come into contact with each other while coming off screens or grabbing rebounds. It’s not terribly uncommon for a player to catch an elbow, which can lead to some significant dental damage.

As the chosen dentists to the Los Angeles Clippers, we know all about the demands basketball puts on an individual at the professional level. As the stakes get higher, so does the intensity, which increases the risk of injury to the body and to the teeth and mouth.

Evidence of the physicality of basketball was on full display during the NBA playoffs this past weekend. Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas had to learn the hard way that wearing a mouthguard is a good idea. Thomas had his left central incisor ejected during the first quarter of the Celtics’ unexpected game 1 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday. The incident occurred in the first quarter, and Isaiah sustained the injury and continued to play. An initial attempt to reset and reposition the tooth by doctors at the arena was unsuccessful. Of course, that didn’t stop Thomas from scoring a game high of 33 points as he led his team back from a 17 point deficit to get the W.

Thomas had to miss practice Monday to undergo oral surgery. It’s tough to tell exactly what needed to be done. Celtics coach Brad Stevens didn’t give an incredible amount of details, stating, ““[t]he tooth that was knocked out was not the only one that was affected. So he had some other issues there, so he was in getting oral surgery [on Monday].”

Isaiah Thomas sported a custom mouth guard for game 2 of the semifinals against the Wizards, which has shown to be an incredibly physical series, with no love lost between the two teams. Thomas knew exactly the soundness of his dental work and mouthguard early in the game when he slipped, fell, and had his face and mouth hit the hardwood in a broken play. He ended up being fine and on the road to recovery, delivering another masterful performance, scoring 53 points in an overtime win, bringing the Celtics to a 2-0 lead.

Playoff basketball will continue to be intense as this season’s story unfolds. We are sorry that our Clippers were not able to advance to the second round of the playoffs, but we were happy to be in the conversation in a very competitive Western Conference. Had any of our players suffered from a tooth injury, we would have been there, just as we will continue to be here for every one of our patients. If you do play the world’s most beautiful game, even if it’s pickup at the local 24 Hour Fitness facility, consider wearing a mouth guard. We can custom make yours here at Mid Wilshire Dentistry. Call today!