See the Dentist ASAP If You Have a Dental Injury
Don’t wait to treat a dental injury.
If you’ve received a dental injury, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can to make sure there is no permanent damage. Just like any other part of your body, an early diagnosis and prompt treatment is your best bet to avoid long-term damage.
Common Dental Injuries
A dental injury can happen in many ways. It might mean a cracked tooth, a broken jaw, or any issue involving the teeth, gums, and/or jaw, including an object caught in between your teeth. Dental injuries are often the result of force hitting your mouth, like during an auto crash, playing sports, a fall, and sometimes, even by eating hard or very sticky foods.
If your tooth has been knocked out, there are preventative steps you should take:
- Find the tooth and handle it gently by holding the crown, never the roots.
- If the tooth is dirty, rinse it off with water, but do NOT dry it. The tooth should remain moist at all times.
- If the tooth can slip back comfortably into your mouth, do that. If not, place the tooth in a clean container of cold milk. If milk isn’t available, hold the tooth in your mouth between the gums and lips. Remember, it’s important to keep the tooth moist at all times.
- Place gauze over the socket. If you were able to slip the tooth back into place, put gauze over that area.
- Call Dr. Naik immediately
- If you can’t get a hold of Dr. Naik’s office, and you have heavy bleeding or are feeling faint or dizzy, go to your closest emergency room and seek treatment. The ER will be able to help control the blood flow and provide the medical attention you need.
It’s good to keep an emergency kit on hand for an emergency like this.
When is it time to see the dentist?
You should see Dr. Naik if:
- You have a chipped or fractured tooth.
- You have a tooth that has been knocked out of your mouth.
- You have an injury to your jaw.
- There is a change in the way your mouth/jaw closes and/or teeth have shifted.
- You have trouble closing your jaw.
- You have bleeding in your mouth or gums.
How can the dentist treat your injury?
Depending on the injury and how severe it is, there are many options for treatment:
- Pain medication could be all that you need if you are just experiencing jaw or tooth pain.
- Stitches may be needed if you have an open wound.
- Surgery could be needed if you have a broken tooth or jaw.
While there isn’t a way to prevent a dental injury from an automobile crash or an accidental fall, you can protect your mouth and teeth in other instances. If you play sports, especially where there is high contact, like football or soccer, you should consider wearing a mouthguard.
A mouthguard can be purchased in a drug store or store that sells sports equipment, but if you are looking for a secure fit, your dentist will be able to custom mold a mouthguard for you. Custom mouthguards are not only proven to be safer but are also more comfortable. A proper mouthguard should fit snugly over the teeth, but not interfere with breathing or speaking.
Call your dentist if you are unsure whether your injury is severe.
If you aren’t sure if your injury is severe or not, you should give Dr. Naik and her team a call and explain what happened. They will be able to give you some advice on next steps and decide if you should be seen ASAP. It’s always best to get checked out just in case!