Accidents can happen to any one of us, and knowing what to do when faced with one can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Dental injuries can happen frequently in the fast-paced world of today. Injuries to the face or teeth can occur during auto accidents, falls, and a variety of sports, such as football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and baseball.
Can Teeth Get Hurt?
Teeth can easily be chipped, broken or knocked loose during these common activities. Most hospitals keep an oral surgeons on-staff who treat emergency dental issues such as varied as fractures of the upper or lower jaw, emergency tooth removals (dental extractions) and reconstruction of the dental arches.
Tooth fractures can be caused by damage from cavities and chewing or biting down on hard objects, such as pencils, pens, ice cubes, nuts, and hard candies. If a dental injury occurs without associated head and neck trauma, it can usually be evaluated and treated in a dental office such as that of Dr. Vernon Sheen in Annapolis MD. Some examples of these kinds of serious dental injuries include broken teeth or fractured teeth, teeth knocked out or loosened.
Sometimes swelling of the gum and oral tissue also occur with these injuries. Placing cold packs or ice cubes outside on the cheeks or lips or even in the mouth near the injured area can lessen pain and swelling before the patient reaches the dentist.
Common Dental Emergencies
Here is some advice for commonly occurring dental emergencies:
- If an adult tooth that has been knocked-out, it is vital to keep the displaced tooth moist at all times. If possible, try lay the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that is not possible, gently place the tooth between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use an ADA approved tooth preserving product. Then, see Dr. Vernon Sheen right away.
- For a cracked tooth, rinse out the mouth with warm water to cleanse the area immediately. Apply cold compresses to the face to prevent or lessen swelling.
- If you have bitten your tongue or lip during your injury, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
- For toothaches, clean the area by rinsing the mouth out with warm water. Then use dental floss to gently remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not apply aspirin onto the aching tooth or gum tissues.
When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit Dr. Sheen and his team or, if the issue is severe enough, an emergency room as soon as possible.
Preventing Dental Injuries
Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid accidents and injuries to your teeth:
- Always wear a protective mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
- Avoid eating hard foods such as ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy that can crack teeth.
- NEVER use your teeth to cut or rip open things; Only scissors!
Most dentists set aside some time in their daily schedules for emergency visits so don’t hesitate to call. Make sure you provide as much information as possible about your condition, including about how it happened.
Emergency Dentist in Annapolis
For more information on dental first aid or to schedule an examination in the Annapolis MD area call (443) 482-5202 or schedule online to see Dr. Sheen and his team.