When it comes to tooth emergencies virtually anything is possible. Dr. Chris Mott has seen everything under the sun in his Shreveport dental office. You can have your tooth cracked, chipped, loosened, or it can come off completely if you grind your teeth, bite on something hard, or when playing a sport without a proper mouthguard. Regardless of how severely the tooth is injured, it is best to consult a dentist as soon after the accident as possible. Here is a first aid guide to help you when you have a tooth emergency.
Avulsed or Knocked Out Tooth
When you have an avulsed adult tooth, it can be replanted within the first five minutes. Here, there will still be ligaments that link the tooth to the bone, and they can reattach to it. Some factors will affect the outcome like the age of the person. In case you have a completely knocked out tooth, here are tips to help you out.
- Get rid of the debris carefully from the root of the tooth. Rinse the tooth root using bottled water or from a cold tap. Ideally, hold the removed tooth by the crown and let the water run freely on the root.
- Hold the tooth by the crown using your first finger and thumb, and replant it back to its socket.
- Push it down with a constant pressure to avoid it falling off again.
Suppose the tooth cannot be replanted, try to control the bleeding and place it in water or cold milk to keep it moist. If you are treating an adult, it’s best to let the tooth remain in their mouth, especially between the gums and cheeks. Consult a professional dentist as soon as you can.
If it is a baby tooth that has been knocked out, do not try replanting it. The baby tooth might affect the health of the permanent tooth. Simply try to stop the bleeding and see a dentist as soon as possible.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Whether it is a broken primary or permanent tooth, try to find tooth fragment and attempt reattaching it with specific bonding materials. Do not attempt smoothing or filling the tooth by yourself. Also, keep in mind that the exposed nerves in the teeth can make it extra sensitive to hot and cold food and drink.
Suppose the tooth is pushed deep into the jaw or if it is moved, consult a professional dentist soon after the injury to avoid further bleeding. Also, it will be more difficult if it is left displaced for a long time. The dentist can link the tooth to the teeth that are not affected to hold it strong. If this doesn’t work, the dentist may use orthodontics to solve the problem.
Fractured or Cracked Tooth
This is a tooth injury that is similar to a broken or chipped tooth, though a fractured tooth is more damaged than a broken tooth. If you have a cracked or fractured primary or permanent tooth, do not wiggle or try removing any cracked part. Also, do not bite on it because it can be extra sensitive to temperature and pressure. Suppose the fracture of crack goes below the gum tissue, consult a professional dentist to determine what the best option is for your particular case.
Regardless of the severity of the tooth emergency, always consult a dentist for further advice. It also helps you to avoid severe damage and excessive bleeding.