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Dental Injuries

  • Tooth

Definition

Dental accidents can happen to anyone at any time. In an active world where many individuals enjoy sports activities, there is a risk of damaging the teeth.

Risks

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Many dental injuries are related to sports and other forms of exercise. Other common causes include fighting and motor vehicle accidents. Physical abuse is linked to some dental injuries.

Prevention

What can be done to prevent the injury?

Many sports injuries can be prevented by wearing a mouth guard. The best mouth guards are custom-made by a healthcare provider. Mouth guard kits available from sporting good stores can also help prevent dental injuries. Sports safety guidelines for children, adolescents, and adults can prevent other injuries.

Diagnosed

How is the injury recognized?

To clearly see the injury, the injured area must be cleaned. Blood and debris must be removed, using only clean, clear water. The healthcare provider may order dental X-rays to define the injury.

Treatments

What are the treatments for the injury?

First aid for a dental injury includes the following steps:
  • Clean the area and determine the extent of the injury while calming the injured individual.
  • Try to find the tooth if it has been knocked out.
  • Rinse the tooth lightly with plain tap water and avoid touching or scraping the root surface. Touch the tooth on the biting edge only.
  • Try to place the tooth back into the socket.
  • If this is not possible, place the tooth in milk or clear clean water. Warm salt-water solution can also be used.
  • If bleeding continues, place a cool rag over the injured area and use mild pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Get the injured individual to an emergency department or healthcare provider as soon as possible.
If the tooth is to be replanted, time is very important. The healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics and pain medicines for the individual.

Side Effects

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Pain medicines and antibiotics can cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reactions.

After Treatment

What happens after treatment for the injury?

The healthcare provider will make further recommendations for follow-up care. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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