Oral Trauma

If you or a family member have just experienced trauma which involves;

A permanent tooth knocked out

Follow these steps:

  1. Get someone to call the dentist and arrange an appointment ASAP (if the dentist is needed to replant the tooth, the appointment needs to be within half an hour for a high chance of success).
  2. Holding the tooth by the crown wash the tooth in milk. If milk is not available, get the patient to suck the root of the tooth clean.
  3. Touching the root with anything other than milk or saliva will damage its sensitive surface cells.
  4. Once clean, replant the tooth back into its socket. If it will not go in or it is too painful, place the tooth into some cool milk. If no milk is available, store the tooth between the gums and the cheek, keeping the jaws together, making sure not to swallow the tooth on the way to the dentist.
  5. If patient is too young for this, get them to spit into a cup and store the tooth in this saliva. Remember minutes count.

If a baby tooth is knocked out

Replanting it can damage development of the permanent teeth underneath. But to be sure place the tooth into some milk or saliva and see the dentist ASAP. Again, preferably within half an hour, just in case it is a permanent tooth.

If a baby tooth is pushed up inside the gum (intruded)

A dentist would need to check this as it may be pushing up and damaging the permanent tooth which is underneath it.

A permanent tooth has been pushed out of position

An x-ray will show if the root has a fracture. If not, the tooth needs to be moved back into place for appearance and for the bite to function and feel comfortable. If loose the dentist may need to splint it to the adjacent teeth to keep it in place while the bone around it  heals and the tooth firms up. If blood vessels supplying the tooth are severed, a root canal therapy will be required to remove the dead pulp. If an electric pulp test gives a dead pulp reading , the root canal therapy should be started within 10 days to avoid a condition called internal resorption(internal resorption involves the root dissolving away from the inside and  ultimately loss of the tooth)

A permanent tooth has broken

Try and find the broken pieces as sometimes a dentist can re-bond the tooth back together. Pain killers and an ice pack can help calm things down until arriving at the dentist.

Trauma to lips or tongue

These will commonly be part of the whole process when there is a blow to the oral region. If from a car accident these are treated in hospital but if from an accident at home, follow these steps:

  1. Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth.
  2. If starting to swell, apply cold packs ten minutes on and ten minutes off (wrap a tea towel around something cold from the freezer).
  3. If bleeding continues see your dentist or go to the hospital emergency room.

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