Teeth grinding, biting down on hard food, slip and falls, or even sports injuries caused due to the absence of a mouthguard can result in a dental emergency. Some of the lesser severe dental emergencies can be broken braces, sudden toothache, pain caused due to objects caught between two teeth, and bleeding caused when teeth cut into the tongue.
Individuals from all age groups can be affected due to such injuries. In some cases, the patient may not see any scratch on the denticle but may experience pain in the gum, or jaw. Here’re some tips that can help in handling traumatic teeth injuries.
Traumatic dental injuries
Most of the dental injuries result in fractured or chipped teeth with a broken crown. As a part of teeth damage treatment, the dentist would either fill up and re-attach the broken top or replace it with an artificial cap to restore the affected tooth’s functioning. Experts handling such patients also often come across a split tooth that requires root canal treatment.
Due to the accident or injury, the tooth may also get pushed into its socket or move sideways. Simply put, it may end up getting dislodged and requires root canal treatment to get it repositioned.
Another commonly found injury in accident patients is a tooth root fracture. The issue can be resolved with intraarticular splinting, hard tissue bridging, or with endodontic therapy if the split is near the gum line.
First aid for dental emergencies
Rinsing the mouth with a salt-water solution can be a helpful first step in case of injuries on the tongue, lips, and cheeks. Patients with toothaches without visible signs of bleeding should consider rinsing their mouth with warm water. If the affected area in the mouth is bleeding, it is advisable to ask the patient to hold a piece of wet gauze on the tooth, or gum.
To reduce the swelling and pain, offering an ice pack wrapped in a clean cotton cloth can be a good idea. If the feeling of discomfort is too high, he or she can opt for ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief until reaching the dental clinic.
At times, the patient (child or adult) may not show any symptoms like bleeding or cracked tooth but may develop a fever, or pain in the gums after a few hours from the accident. Thus, he or she needs to visit a dental office for a detailed check-up.
How to handle the cracked or knocked-out piece of the tooth?
The knocked-out part of the tooth needs to be handled carefully while taken to the dentist. Avoid touching anything else besides the crown part and do not remove the gum tissues attached to the denticle. Place it in milk, inside a small container if possible. Make sure it remains away from water. Going to the dental clinic should be the top priority to get the same piece placed back in the gum.
Patients are advised not to attempt and push the broken teeth back in the jaw (reinserting) as it may cause further damage to the socket.
Is it possible to place a knocked-out tooth back in the socket?
If the tooth gets knocked out, the dentists place it back in the socket as soon as possible to save the same. The patient must handle the piece of broken tooth carefully as mentioned earlier. The concerned tooth needs to be re-implanted in the jaw within thirty minutes to save it.
After putting it back in the socket, the dentist would look for other injuries in the mouth and place a stabilizing splint to support the damaged denticle for a few weeks. Depending on the damage, the expert may also recommend root canal procedure. Follow-Up treatment is required in such cases for a few months.
Dental trauma in children
Besides adults and children, even toddlers suffer from dental trauma. The most reported types of injuries in oral trauma cases involving babes are cuts and scratches inside the mouth, including on the lips and tongue. Wounds caused due to burns inside the mouth while eating are also common.
Babies often end up falling on their faces while learning to walk. Such a fall causes mouth injuries resulting in cuts and even bleeding on the lips. In such a situation, parents need to double-check if the child’s teeth have been affected. In case of bleeding, it is advisable to find the source of blood. Use a clean piece of cotton cloth, preferably a towel, to clean the blood and saliva.
Usually, when a child sustains an oral injury, there might be a head injury accompanying the same. Thus, parents need to ensure the accident has not caused harm to any other parts of the body, including the head. The guardians must take the baby to the emergency ward if it has a head injury or shows symptoms of breathing issues.
Do baby teeth need first aid for dental emergencies?
Parents often think baby teeth injuries can be ignored as permanent ones would replace them eventually. However, tooth injury displaces baby tooth and any change in their position can prove to be a problem for the permanent tooth that arises out of the gums. Thus, no matter if the injured piece is a baby tooth or a permanent one, taking the kid for a dental check remains crucial.
Endodontists do not recommend a root canal if the patient is between seven and twelve years of age as permanent teeth are yet to develop. However, careful monitoring is indeed required to keep track of unfavorable changes in the mouth.
Is it necessary to approach only a dentist in case of an emergency?
There are dental offices in every city that offer emergency services day and night. Plus, physicians at several ER rooms are also trained to handle oral health emergencies. As far as insurance is concerned, some policies do offer cover for the expenditure incurred for the mouth injury treatment.
To know more about first aid for dental emergencies in Roswell, GA, you can always fix an appointment at TruCare Dentistry.