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Have you ever heard of someone getting a tooth knocked out and cringe at the fact of that happening too you? For many injuries, most of us have some first aid knowledge as to how we should respond in an emergency. However, very few of us would know how to treat a dental emergency. This article will explain the steps one should take if they ever encounter this type of emergency.
If your tooth is knocked out retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it's dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it's facing the right way and never force it into the socket. If it's not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, call your dental professional as quickly as possible. At Jackson Family Dentistry we keep our schedule open for circumstances just like this. Our office has seen the highest success rate of teeth being saved if they are returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out. Contrary to popular belief if a child has a baby tooth knocked out, it is still important to see a dentist and try to reattach it. This is because without the tooth in place the teeth could shift as permanent teeth start to come in. Reattaching a tooth is really quite simple. Once the tooth is back in the socket, the dentist will splint the tooth to one next to it for a few weeks. If placed early enough, the roots will attach themselves back and the splint can then be removed
A tooth can chip much more easily than being knocked out. Chips can occur from blunt trauma, biting into particularly hard foods or being weakened by cavities. Rinse your mouth using warm water and any broken pieces if they are dirty. If there's bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. Again, in this case, you will want to see a dental professional as soon as possible. Our staff will be able to assess the damage and give you a treatment plan. Chips can be repaired in a variety of ways and we will work to find one that best fits your needs.
Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, are common especially in sports. Jackson Family Dentistry advises all participants to wear mouth guards when playing sports such as football and soccer. The tongue especially is rich in blood supply so if it is injured controlling the bleeding should be your number one priority. To do this rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution. Use a moistened piece of gauze to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes. If the tongue has experienced a severe gash or puncture the emergency room will be your best option. In this case, the tongue could need sutures or special types of stitches to ensure it heals properly. Keep in mind a tongue injury of this nature can affect overall oral health in a number of ways. Infections can occur quite easily if the wound isn't kept clean, given the high amount of bacteria the tongue naturally plays home to. Additionally, your ability to swallow and speak clearly can also be compromised, causing you to alter your diet in the short term.
In conclusion, we hope this type of incident never happens to you, however, if you ever find yourself in this situation perhaps you will have a better idea as to how to overcome it. You can also call our office as our staff is experienced in handling emergency cases and would be happy to assist you.