The front teeth are the first points of contact during a fall with very high chances of injury. The head is a highly vascular area and any injury has a high degree of bleeding. Some of the common tooth injuries include knocked out tooth, broken or fractured tooth, and avulsed tooth. Listed below are ways to manage these common injuries.
Knocked out tooth: If a permanent tooth is knocked off, follow these steps:
- With gloves on, hold the tooth by the crown portion, rinse it under tap water, and place it back gently in the socket within minutes.
- Control bleeding with mild pressure and visit a dentist
- If not able to place it back, place the tooth in the patient's mouth or in a small bottle of milk and visit the dentist as soon as possible
A tooth that is placed back in its socket within 20 minutes has a high degree of complete recovery.
A primary tooth is usually not replaced as there is a permanent tooth beneath the socket, which may be affected by doing so.
Broken tooth: If the impact was not severe enough to knock off the tooth, a part of it may chip off and break. If the chipped off piece is able to be located, visit the dentist with it. In some cases, it may be possible to bind it back to the tooth using resins, especially if only the enamel was involved. If it is not able to be located, then the dentist will rebuild the tooth to its original shape.
If the tooth is fractured at the dentin, then there could be sensitivity. Do not try to do anything. If the tooth structure is located, there is a small chance of binding it back. Else, reconstruction of the tooth will have to be done.
If the pulp was exposed during the fracture, then there could be severe pain and bleeding in the tooth.
This again should be immediately seen by the dentist.
Avulsed tooth: In some cases, the impact may be just sufficient to move the tooth out of its socket. The tooth could be protruding from the socket, pushed deeper or just loosened in its place. Ask the patient to bite and check for the change in the tooth position. With gloved hands, gently get it back to its original pressure and place a handkerchief or a gauze pad to keep it in place. Visit the dentist at the earliest, as a splint may be required in cases of severe movement.
Associated injuries in any of these cases like injury to the face or fracture of the jaw or soft tissue injury needs to be immediately attended by the doctor.