When an unforeseen injury affects the teeth, gums, ligaments, tissue or bone surrounding the teeth, it’s classified as dental trauma. Although more common in younger patients, dental trauma can happen to anyone at any age. It is often caused by accidents like collisions, sports injuries, physical violence, falls, motor vehicle collisions, and the like. If you experience dental trauma, immediately seeking professional help gives you the best chance of repairing and restoring your teeth to their normal look.
Trauma from Sports
Many sports require a lot of physical activity. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to receive dental trauma while active in sports than at any other time. For example, basketball, football, baseball and softball, bicycling, soccer, and skateboarding account for over 800,000 youth injuries every year (Stanford Children’s Health).
Since there is such a high chance of injury in physical sports, the Marconi Dental Group recommends using a mouthguard as a preventative measure. Over-the-counter mouthguards provide a mild level of safety, but a customized mouthguard gives better protection and is more affordable than replacing a tooth.
However, there are different options available when it comes to mouthguards. Feel free to visit our webpage about mouthguards. You can also schedule a consultation online about your specific situation, or simply give us a call to make an appointment.
When a Tooth Gets Chipped or Broken
Of all possible dental traumas, chipped and broken teeth are the most common, and not just among active children and sports fanatics. One false step, or chewing on a hard object or food, can result in breaking off a piece of your tooth.
If you can get to your Sacramento emergency dentist within twelve hours of the incident, with as many fragments of the tooth as you can find, it’s possible your dentist can reattach them. If not, there are other methods to save the part of your tooth left in your mouth – and perhaps restore it to its original appearance.
Video Overview: Trauma- Chipped Tooth
This video provides an overview of what constitutes a chipped tooth, the steps your doctor will take to rule out potential additional injury, and the importance of seeking treatment to restore the tooth’s appearance and function.
If your tooth was knocked out of your mouth, or avulsed, it might still be able to rejoin the rest of your teeth. To do this:
- First retrieve the tooth.
- Be careful not to touch the roots!
- Gently rinse it off with water.
- If possible, reposition the tooth in the socket.
The sooner this is done, the better the chance of reattachment. Hold the tooth in place with your finger or by clenching down gently with your jaw for at least five minutes, ideally with something soft between your crown and the opposing teeth (like a teabag or some gauze).
If keeping the tooth in the socket is not possible, hold the tooth between your tongue and cheek until you get to your dentist. This way, it’s being stored in its natural environment. However, if this is not an option, place it in a clean container with milk or your own saliva to keep it moist. Be careful – various pollutants in tap water could harm the tooth, so avoid using it. If bleeding occurs, apply pressure with gauze or another clean material.
Remember that time is of the essence. Arriving at a dentist within thirty minutes gives you the best chance for reattachment, but some teeth have been saved an hour or more after their avulsion.
Video Overview: Trauma- Avulsed Tooth
This video provides an overview of what happens when a tooth is avulsed, or “knocked out,” the steps your doctor will take to rule out potential additional injury, and the importance of seeking immediate treatment to improve chances of preserving the tooth.
Partially Displaced Tooth
If one or more of your teeth are pushed out of their alignment, be careful. Pushing them back in place might be the wrong thing to do. Head down to the Marconi Dental Group as soon as you can. After your dentist gives you a careful exam and takes x-rays to verify the situation, the options for putting your teeth back will be discussed with you.
Soft Tissue Injury
Teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that can receive trauma – your tongue, gums or even your jaw can also receive an injury. If an oral tissue is punctured, remove any foreign objects and gingerly rinse the area with clean water. If there is any bleeding, apply gauze or another clean material to the area, along with light pressure, to get the bleeding under control. If the bleeding continues after ten minutes, seek out the nearest emergency room.
At the Marconi Dental Group, our emergency dentists recognize that every accident or injury is different. If you suffer any dental trauma, please call us immediately so we can apply custom-designed therapies to help keep your smile intact!