Dental Emergencies & Injuries
Children under the age of 15 account for 75 percent of all lost, broken, loosened or chipped teeth, with two-thirds of tooth trauma occurring outdoors. Advances in dental care have greatly increased the odds that injured teeth can be replaced or repaired, but parents must act quickly in these emergency situations. Children are exposed to all sorts of mishaps that may cause tooth injuries. Falls are the most common cause, accounting for 34 percent of all tooth traumas, followed by bike accidents at 30 percent, and sports injuries at 14 percent. The long-term prognosis for many patients is determined by the type of injury to the tooth and how much time elapses before treatment.
There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to your teeth. One way to reduce the chances of damage to your teeth, lips, cheek and tongue is to wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities that may pose a risk. Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth. Cut tape using scissors rather than your teeth.
Accidents do happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
We reserve time in our daily schedule for emergency patients. Call us immediately and provide as much detail as possible about your condition. R emember, pain is a signal that something is wrong—a problem that will not disappear even if the pain subsides.
BItten Lip or Tongue
Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.
Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the area to keep any swelling down. Call Dr. Eddleman immediately. Cracked Tooth
Teeth can crack for many reasons ranging from long term wear and tear to an unlucky bite on a hard object. Pain will most likely occur during chewing. Sometimes the crack is visible but more often it invisible to the naked eye and even on x-rays. Dr. Eddleman can test the tooth. Depending in the severity of the crack and/or symptoms, the treatment options will vary. You may need a crown and sometimes a root canal is necessary first.
Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to a hospital emergency department immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth
Time is of the essence. You need to get to our office within 30 minutes. Hold the tooth by the crown (not the root) and rinse it off in water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently reinsert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and call Dr. Eddleman as quickly as possible. Remember to take the tooth with you!
Objects Caught Between Teeth
Try to gently remove the object with dental floss; avoid cutting the gums. Never use a sharp instrument to remove any object that is stuck between your teeth. If you can’t dislodge the object using dental floss, contact your dentist.
Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.