Dental injuries are more common than you may think. In fact, around 20 percent of people suffer from trauma to their teeth at some point in their life, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Injuries to the teeth, gums, and mouth can occur for a wide range of reasons. A simple slip and fall, vehicle accident, physical altercation, or sports incident can all negatively affect a person’s smile. However, some dental injuries are more common than others.
Top 5 Most Common Dental Injuries
1. Chipped Tooth
The enamel on your teeth is naturally strong and highly resilient. However, the impact of biting down on a hard piece of candy or falling can cause a piece of your tooth to chip off. Other factors can also contribute to chipped teeth, such as tooth decay or bruxism (tooth grinding). Chipped teeth generally require prompt repair as the sharp or jagged edges can cut your cheek, gums, or tongue. A chip in the tooth can also impact the pulp or could potentially lead to tooth decay.
2. Cracked Tooth
A cracked or fractured tooth can be a painful problem to encounter. Teeth can crack for a variety of reasons, such as chewing on hard foods or grinding your teeth at night. Cracks can also occur with old age as the teeth become more prone to damage. In rare cases, abrupt changes in the temperature in the mouth can cause a tooth to crack. Several treatment options are available for cracked teeth, such as crowns, bonding, root canals, or extractions.
3. Dislocated Tooth
Tooth luxation refers to the dislodgement of a tooth caused by an injury to the tissues and ligaments that hold the tooth in place. Luxation can be broken down into five main categories: concussion, sublaxation, extrusive, lateral, and intrusive. Depending on the severity of the dislocation, a patient may require immediate treatment. Your dentist in Clermont will start by examining the tooth to feel for looseness, followed by a complete set of X-rays to determine the type of luxation.
4. Knocked Out Tooth
A tooth can become knocked out due to a blow to the mouth or another accident that involves trauma to the face. When a tooth is knocked out, it can sometimes be successfully replaced in the socket. However, this requires the immediate help of a Clermont dentist who may be able to replace the tooth if the patient arrives at the dentist office quickly, usually in less than 30 minutes.
5. Soft Tissue Injuries
Dental injuries do not only impact the teeth, but can also affect the soft tissues in the mouth. The gums, tongue, and cheek are all at risk for injury where a patient encounters trauma to the face. When an accident occurs that affects a person’s mouth, a dentist will visually evaluate the anatomical structure and motion of the jaw. The dentist will generally look for edema, lacerations, erythema, and punctures. X-ray imaging may be performed to look for more serious injuries.
What to Do If You Suffer a Dental Injury
When a dental injury occurs, it is important to react quickly to minimize the amount of permanent damage. Try to keep the traumatized area clean until you are able to see a dentist. Contact your Clermont family dentistry as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. The sooner that you see your dentist, the sooner you can receive treatment and eliminate any discomfort.
After seeing your dentist, you may still be experiencing some soreness or tenderness in the mouth. You may also be at a higher risk for infection at this time. You’ll want to clean your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Ask your dentist about using a mouthwash to kill any lingering bacteria.
Depending on the extent of the damage, your dentist may recommend a soft diet for several days following the trauma. Avoid foods that are extremely hot or cold, as well as sweets. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or pain medicines. Be sure to follow these prescriptions as directed.
Schedule an Appointment
Have you recently experienced a dental injury? Contact the experienced dental professionals at Hancock Village Dental to learn how we can help.