A cracked, broken or bleeding tooth is something most of us would rather not see, especially in the mouth of a screaming child. In fact, dental trauma is fairly common among children, and we need to be prepared when such an event occurs.
Topping the list for drama is a dental avulsion, or a tooth knocked out. It is just as traumatic to have a primary or ‘baby tooth’ knocked out at age four as a permanent tooth at age 10.
- Clean the area gently.
- Check for food particles around the area and apply a cold compress.
- Contact a dentist immediately for advice and an appointment.
Dental trauma often stems from a hard blow to the face. Sometimes a tooth or several teeth are shoved up into the jawbone through force. If the force is hard enough, even the bony socket of the tooth may be damaged or fractured.
- Rinse the child’s mouth if possible.
- Place ice packs on the facial area.
- Give Tylenol for relief and proceed to an emergency room or emergency dental service.
Beware of Hard Foods
Chewing ice or hard candy is something children love to do. The crown of a large molar may be put at risk. Do not assess the situation as minor if a few hairline cracks are visible to the eye. Pulp fractures can cause serious infection if neglected. Give Tylenol for pain and pack the tooth with gauze, if possible. Contact a Glendale Heights dentist or a nearby clinic immediately, or proceed to a hospital emergency room.
A root fracture can happen with a direct blow to the mouth, and the fracture will not be visible. Roots are vital to the life of a tooth, and a painful, damaged root can cause the tooth to die. Cold compresses and Tylenol for pain are necessary, as well as a trip to the dental emergency office. If the emergency occurs after hours, usually a staff can be reached via their website immediately.
Blows to the face through falls or play are part of childhood, but the worst-case dental emergency might be a fractured jaw. This serious accident can involve broken teeth and injuries within the soft tissue of the mouth. Encourage the child not to move the jaw. If the child is very young, tie a scarf around the head and jaw to inhibit movement. Proceed at once to receive emergency treatment.
Dental trauma is miserable for both children and parents. A calm demeanor, assessment of injuries and pain relief are efforts parents can make until they obtain professional treatment.