Any trauma to the mouth that may cause bleeding and lacerations to the gums, and dislodge, or fracture teeth, and may require immediate medical attention.
Signs & Symptoms
As with any trauma to the mouth, you should consult your dentist immediately to determine if treatment is required. The dentist will examine the affected area and may take X-rays.
If you are in pain from a broken, cracked or chipped tooth, you may be able to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If possible, keep any part of the tooth that has broken off and take it with you to the dentist.
Whether the result of an accident or biting on a piece of food that’s too hard, mouth injuries can cause teeth to become cracked, broken, or knocked out/dislodged.
If a tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth by an injury, take the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible. It may be possible for your tooth to be placed back into your mouth, a procedure called re-implantation.
If you’re playing any contact sports, wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth from injury and trauma. Mouthguards are available at most sporting goods stores; however, to ensure a mouthguard fits properly, contact your dentist for a consultation to have one custom made to protect the teeth.
To help protect your teeth from injury while eating, avoid biting hard candies and ice.
An untreated infection can spread to the surrounding gum tissue of other teeth and into your jawline. It could even spread to different parts of your body, leading to other health issues and diseases. Signs of an infection include swelling around the site of the broken tooth and nearby tissue, throbbing pain and sometimes a fever.
Left untreated, a dental emergency can lead to more serious complications. A cracked tooth, for instance, can leave a fracture in the tooth, a decayed tooth can cause a hole or opening in the tooth, and both are vulnerable to bacteria and decay. A jaw injury or possible fracture needs immediate attention at your dentist's office or in the emergency room.
Other Info About Dental Emergencies and Sports Safety
- How to Approach Emergency Dental Care for Kids
- Simple Precautions Help Older Adults Avoid Dental and Head Injuries.
- Custom Mouthguards Might Reduce Athletes' Risk of Concussion
- Why Do You Need a Mouth Guard?
- My Child Has a Knocked Out Tooth: What Should I Do?
- Dental Emergency First Steps: Do You Know What to Do?
- What to Do If Your Filling Falls Out: Don't Panic, Just Call the Dentist
- Mouth Guards: Every Mom's Oral Health Insurance Policy