If you've been injured in a car accident or suffered a fall and knocked out a tooth, then of course you want to see a dentist right away. In many cases the tooth can be salvaged, but even if it cannot, your dentist will want to protect your exposed gum line. While a missing tooth can be an obvious sign that it's time to visit the dentist, there are other times when you want to make an appointment after an injury or even see an emergency dentist. Here are a few instances that suggest it's time to visit the dentist sooner rather than later.
1. When a tooth chips or cracks
If you've chipped a tooth or notice a crack in the front or top of the tooth after an injury, you want to see a dentist. A chip can expose the dentin or soft tissue underneath the tooth's surface and this tissue can be prone to infection when exposed. This can also be very painful, and a small chip can easily lead to a much larger chip that may put you at risk for tooth loss.
The same thing is true if you notice a crack in the tooth. This crack can allow germs and bacteria to linger and may also expose the soft tissue of teeth. The crack also means that a tooth is now weakened, and if you were to bite down hard or otherwise put pressure on the tooth, the crack can get larger and wider and you may even wind up losing the tooth.
2. When you cut open the skin inside the mouth
Open cuts and sores may heal on their own but if the cut inside your mouth is very large, you should see a dentist. Germs and bacteria can settle into this open area and lead to oral infections, and you may make the cut worse when you chew. A dentist may actually want to stitch up the cut inside your mouth or at the very least, prescribe antibiotics so you avoid the risk of infections.
3. If you suspect a tooth is loose
A tooth doesn't need to actually fall out for it to have come loose; the roots may have been damaged or the gums may have been injured so that they don't hold the teeth firmly in place. If you even suspect that a tooth is loose after you've suffered an injury, see a dentist as soon as you can. He or she might put a splint in place to keep the tooth from falling out and to keep it from coming out of alignment with other teeth.
When in doubt, it's worth contacting clinics like Absolute Smiles about the severity of your current issue to ensure you get the care you need before an accident becomes a dental tragedy.Share
7 October 2015
I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.