Hawks' Dennis Schröder loses tooth, picks it up, puts it in sock

It is becoming increasingly important that NBA players watch their mouths. No, not because they must be wary of getting too yappy with officials and earning themselves technical fouls, but rather because dudes are getting clocked in the chops and losing chompers as a result.

We'll need a third to call it a trend, but one week after Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic took an elbow to the face that left him with a jack-o'-lantern smile, Atlanta Hawks reserve triggerman Dennis Schröder found himself in a similar predicament following a fourth-quarter meet-and-greet between his grill and the knee of Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard:

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Tripping and falling while driving to the basket is unpleasant enough. Going face-first into someone's knee is even more awful. But having to watch your tooth fall out of your mouth? That just seems exceptionally cruel, the sort of brutal twist of dental fate visited upon unsuspecting innocents by the likes of Dr. Giggles or Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.

While such face-rockin' is no laughing matter, Schröder's response to the injury and its aftermath was pretty funny: he just scooped up his chiclet and dropped it into his sock for safe keeping.

“I just wanted to play," Schröder said after the game, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I wanted to be on the court. I was like ‘Oh [shoot].’ I put it in [my sock] and kept playing.”

You can understand why the German guard was eager to stay on the floor. After all, he was in the midst of another strong outing in which he'd proven an offensive game-changer off the Hawks' bench, and had seemed to have plenty of luck on his side, splashing a buzzer-beating 32-foot pull-up 3-pointer to give Atlanta a 19-point lead heading into the final frame:

A knee in the mouth, however, has a way of making you feel a bit less lucky.

Then again, it could've been worse — Dennis didn't lose any original fixtures in the process:

... but he still needed to get it taken care of on the double:

Here's hoping his dental professional of choice puts a brand new cap on the affected area ... or at least, y'know, rinses the old one off a bit after its ridealong in Schröder's stocking.

Schröder led six Hawks in double figures with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in just 17 minutes of work, helping pace Atlanta to a 106-97 win over the short-handed Blazers, who were without starting guards Damian Lillard (missing the first game of his professional career after 275 consecutive starts) and C.J. McCollum. Jeff Teague, Mike Scott and Thabo Sefolosha chipped in 13 points each for the Hawks, who have won four straight to improve to 18-12 on the season and now sit in third place in the ever-churning Eastern Conference. The 22-year-old Schröder has been instrumental in Atlanta's run, averaging 15 points, 4.5 assists and two steals in 22.3 minutes per game over the last four contests while shooting 55 percent from the floor and making seven of his 13 3-point attempts.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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