When you participate in sports or outdoor recreational activities, there’s always a chance that you could end up with a tooth injury. Whether you have a tooth knocked out while playing contact sports or break a tooth from falling while hiking or skiing, it’s important to know what to do about it to lower the risk of infection or tooth loss. Keep the following in mind if you have a tooth injury.
If you lose a tooth, you might be able to save it if you act quickly enough. This means having it restored or reinserted within an hour at the most after it falls out. When you wait longer, the chance of being able to save the tooth and put it back in place goes down. You have the best chance at having your tooth restored if it’s taken care of within 30 minutes. There are some initial steps you can take on the spot or at home before you’re able to get to the dentist’s office for care. These steps can help save your tooth so that you don’t have to get a replacement.
Handling a Knocked Out Tooth
To handle a tooth that’s been knocked out, gently pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the root, which can cause further damage. Rinse your tooth in clean, lukewarm water for about ten seconds, then rinse your mouth and try to reinsert it in the socket. Place a gauze pad in your mouth, and bite down on it to help hold your tooth in place. You should seek emergency dental care for your tooth, even if you’re able to place it in the socket. This helps ensure that it’s properly cared for.
Caring for a Broken or Loose Tooth
If you have a broken or chipped tooth, you should see our dentist as soon as possible to receive proper care. Teeth that are chipped, cracked or broken must be treated in order to help them heal and lower the risk of additional damage or infections. If you have one or more teeth that are loose from an injury, you should also seek dental care quickly to lower the risk of permanently losing them.
Dealing with Tooth Injury Symptoms
Tooth injuries can sometimes cause mild to severe pain and swelling, as well as bleeding. You can take over-the-counter pain medications to relieve pain, and press a cool cloth or compress against your cheek or jaw on the affected side to ease swelling. If you have bleeding with your injury, use sterile gauze to control it.
If you have a tooth injury, please contact us at Trailhead Dental for proper and professional care. Our prosthodontist can promptly treat your injured tooth to reduce the risk of permanent tooth loss or the need for a replacement.