First Aid for Common Tooth Injuries

Grinding your teeth, biting down on something hard, playing sports without a mouthguard…those are common methods of chipping, cracking, loosening or losing a tooth. The measure taken after this type of dental injury is going to depend on the kind and extent of the damage, yet it generally is critical to visit the dentist as soon as you can.

Avulsed Tooth

Permanent Tooth

Replanting avulsed adult teeth (completely knocked out teeth) within five minutes will ensure the best result, as your body still will recognize the tooth as its own, instead of a “graft,” and ligaments which connect your tooth to the surrounding bone are present upon the root surface and may reattach. Factors like the injured patient’s age also can affect the result.

What you should do:

  • Carefully extract debris from the root of your tooth by rinsing it in bottled or cold tap water. Do not touch the root surface itself. Hold your tooth by its crown — the white enamel part.
  • Replant your tooth by grasping your crown between the first finger and thumb with the flat, smooth surface faced forward and firmly push the tooth into its socket.
  • Apply pressure so tooth isn’t pushed back out.
  • If instant replantation isn’t possible, control the bleeding using pressure, place your tooth in the person’s own saliva (for instance between the gums and cheek if the person is old enough to be trusted not to swallow his or her tooth) or water or cold milk to keep it from drying out.
  • Visit the dentist as soon as you can.

Primary Tooth

Don’t try to replant the baby tooth as it might interfere with the health of an underlying permanent tooth. Control bleeding using direct pressure and visit the dentist as soon as you can.

Displaced Tooth

Primary or Permanent Tooth

If the tooth is pushed deeper into the jaw or moved out of place, don’t attempt to reposition it on your own. Visit the dentist as soon as you can. The longer a tooth is left out of alignment, the more difficult it’ll be to return it to its initial position. Your dentist might “splint” it to non-affected teeth in order to brace it. Depending upon the extent of damage, your tooth might have to be returned into position through orthodontics or be extracted.

Broken/Chipped Tooth

Primary or Permanent Tooth

Find the tooth fragment if possible, as it might be possible to reattach it with tooth-colored bonding materials. Don’t attempt to smooth or file the tooth on your own. Note that your tooth might be sensitive to cold and hot due to nerve exposure in the pulp at the center.

Fractured/Cracked Tooth

Primary or Permanent Tooth

This kind of injury is like a break/chip, but usually more extensive damage has happened. Don’t wiggle your tooth or attempt to remove any part of it, and don’t bite on it. A dental exam is important to figure out your options.

For more information on first aid for common tooth injuries contact the best Winnipeg dental clinic, Markham Dental today!