What Should I Do About Tooth Damage?

Knowing what to do when you get a dental injury is crucial for the affected teeth to get a better prognosis. In this article we will tell you how to deal with this situation.
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Both children and adults can suffer from dental injuries, although childhood and adolescence are the most frequent times they occur. These types of accidents tend to happen when children learn to walk, and during play and sports.

In case of tooth damage, everyone gets very nervous and no one knows what to do. Not only those who suffer, but also those who follow them. But it is important to know what to do quickly to control the situation and improve the prognosis for the affected tooth.

Keep reading, because in this article we will clarify what you should do if you or someone in your family is hit in the mouth.

What is tooth damage?

Tooth damage is an injury that occurs to a tooth, bone and other supporting tissues due to the impact of a blow or physical impact on the area. This affects the aesthetics of the smile, but also the person’s chewing and speech skills

They are frequent in childhood and adolescence, as a consequence of falls when a child takes his first steps, and they still do not have enough balance. They are also caused by blows during play or when practicing certain sports. The most affected teeth are usually the upper front teeth, as they are most exposed.

The manifestations of mouth injuries are different and of varying severity. They can occur with fractures of the teeth, the teeth are moved, the tooth ends up in an abnormal position or even falls out.

In addition, there may be damage to the soft tissue in the oral cavity. These can be chapped lips, tongues or cheeks, which are accompanied by a lot of bleeding and inflammation. The most severe cases involve the bones that support the teeth. For this reason, the dentist must make an immediate diagnosis of the whole situation.

Both temporary and permanent teeth can be affected, and further treatment will depend on this. Regardless, if the tooth injury involves a baby tooth, you do not have to worry. A permanent tooth is formed under the root, and it continues to grow healthy.

The consequences of incurring a tooth injury

As we have already mentioned, dental damage can manifest itself in different ways depending on the tissue involved. Some of these situations may occur:

  • Fracture of the enamel or dentin: The tooth is damaged, but there is no loss of tooth structure.
  • Tooth mobility: There is damage to the tissue that supports the tooth, and it moves in the mouth.
  • Fracture of the crown of the tooth : The tooth breaks and loses a segment of the crown. The mass can be compromised.
  • Changing the normal position of the tooth: The tooth can move to one side (dental luxation), towards the inside of the bone (tooth penetration) or towards the outside (tooth extrusion).
  • Tooth root fracture: The damage to the tooth extends below the gum line.
  • The tooth falls out.
  • Soft tissue damage.

All of these damages affect the integrity of the teeth and the surrounding tissue. This changes the appearance of the mouth and the way one speaks and eats.

A man who fights
Some sports involve physical contact and injuries to the scalp, including the mouth.

Are dental injuries different in children and adults?

We have already mentioned that reactions and treatment after a tooth injury are different if the piece involved is temporary or permanent. In addition, the patient’s age is something to consider.

Temporary teeth

In children, the most common causes are play, sports and lack of balance when they start walking. They are also associated with child abuse. In adults, on the other hand, they are usually associated with traffic accidents, sports and falls.

When it affects a baby tooth, dentists should estimate how long it will stay in the mouth to see if it is worth keeping it or not. Sometimes it is a good idea to remove it because the permanent tooth is about to come out.

When the fracture is small, specialists can fix it with aesthetic fillings. Sometimes the treatments are more complex. When the permanent tooth needs more time to come out and a specialist needs to remove the baby tooth, or if the tooth fell out in the blow, it will be necessary to maintain the place occupied by a placeholder.

In cases where the temporary tooth falls out, it should not be reimplanted. In the process, it can damage the permanent tooth that forms inside the bone.

Permanent teeth

If, on the other hand, the tooth damage occurs in a permanent tooth, the main goal is to keep it in the mouth. In both adults and children, if the tooth comes out of the mouth and they can reimplant it, they should do so.

If the accident in a permanent tooth occurs in a child, the dentist must consider whether the injury has damaged the mass of a tooth that has not yet completed root development. In such cases, they require special therapy to close the root canals.

If, on the other hand, the blow damages a permanent tooth in an adult, the roots are already formed. When there is damage to the tissue in the middle of the tooth, the specialist must perform root canal treatment. If the tooth can be moved, the dentist will stabilize the tooth for a certain period of time so that the person does not lose it.

Tips on how to behave in case of tooth damage

When dental damage occurs, it is important to know what to do and act quickly.

Therefore, we tell you below how to proceed in case an accident affects the oral cavity.

Take it easy

When a stroke occurs, it is a time of tension and discomfort. It is usually pain, blood and crying that combine to create a situation of anxiety and nervousness.

Trying to be calm and take responsibility will help you make the right and necessary decisions. Do not be anxious or start shouting; it is important to stay calm.

Clean the wound and stop the bleeding

The soft tissue in the mouth is very vascularized, which is why cuts usually cause a lot of bleeding. You should clean the wound carefully with clean water so that the damage can be carefully observed.

It is important to apply pressure with a clean gauze or cloth on the cut to stop the bleeding. In addition, as we mentioned, a dentist must assess the damage caused by seeing if a piece of the tooth is missing, if a tooth has come out or is moving, or if it is in the wrong place and cannot be used to bite. In these cases, you need to go to the dentist as soon as possible, within an hour if possible.

Search for the missing tooth

If the blow caused the tooth to fall out, or a fragment to break off, you should look for it. When you find it, do not touch the root area. Wash it for a few seconds under clean water without rubbing it.

After that, put it in a glass of distilled water or warm milk to transport it. If this is not possible, the person can carry it in the mouth, under the tongue, and be careful not to swallow it.

You should never re-implant a baby tooth in your mouth because it can damage the permanent that develops in the bone. If you are sure it is a permanent tooth, try moving the piece and biting a gauze bandage to hold it in place. But as we said earlier, the best course of action is to go to the dentist immediately, within an hour.

If a tooth has come out completely, the dentist can reimplant it in the hole and immobilize it to wait for it to reintegrate into the oral cavity. If what has been affected is a fragment of the tooth, the professional can try to attach it to the affected piece. They do this using specific techniques and aesthetic and adhesive materials.

Go to the dentist

We have already mentioned the importance of seeing a dentist as soon as possible. Acting quickly improves the forecast for the situation. There are procedures that the dentist can only perform for the first hours after the stroke.

In addition, there can sometimes be no major damage, but the dentist can detect problems that are imperceptible to the naked eye. A thorough examination and X-ray will allow them to assess whether the roots and bones have been affected. Thus, the dentist is the one who determines the severity of the case, the most appropriate treatments and the necessary checks.

In the most severe cases, when the blow causes vomiting, loss of consciousness or disorientation, the person must be taken to a hospital immediately.

Children at the dentist
A specialist should perform early dental consultation to promote healing and tissue recovery after trauma.

Other tips to keep in mind when suffering from a dental trauma

Other methods can help recover from tooth damage:

  • Soft and cold diet : Eating food that does not require too much chewing and cold food helps reduce inflammation and favors the recovery of damaged tissue. Yogurt, ice cream, custard and milkshake are good options.
  • Maintain oral hygiene : Do not stop cleaning your teeth after an injury. Accumulation of bacterial plaque can aggravate the situation. You should brush gently and your dentist may prescribe a special antiseptic.
  • Monitor the damaged area : You must monitor the damaged area. Sometimes the symptoms appear after a few months. If there is inflammation in the gums, the tooth changes color, or if it starts to move, you should visit your dentist.
  • Check with specialists : If the patient uses orthodontic regulations, they should have a check with their orthodontist. This is to assess the condition of the adjustments and straps that may have been misaligned or loosened due to the impact.

Some things to consider

It is difficult to avoid tooth damage as there are accidents that are often not easy to prevent. Although they can occur at any time and at any age, they are more common in children.

Therefore, it is a good idea to remove low furniture when the little ones start walking. It is also a good idea to avoid violent toys and use tooth protectors in sports.

And if they do occur, consider these tips so you can face the situation properly and be able to act quickly and calmly.

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