Tooth pain and/or trauma to your tooth can impact your daily life significantly. These are not conditions that should be ignored but need to be treated and managed promptly by a dental professional like Dr. Vlahos and his team. Often, there is a time constraint depending on your problem that needs to be managed accordingly. Timely treatment will resolve your issue and help you avoid severe pain and infection. Call us today at 905-937-4673 if any of these conditions arise.
Knocked Out Tooth
Teeth get knocked out of mouths quite frequently. The key to saving your tooth is timely treatment. If it can be replanted quickly, the tooth can be saved, possibly for many years.
IF POSSIBLE GET TO THE NEAREST DENTIST WITHIN THIRTY MINUTES.
However, if there is a loss of consciousness or the suspicion of a concussion, this needs to be managed first.
Protocol for saving your tooth:
- Find your tooth first, do not leave it on the ground. If your tooth is fully intact (no fracture of the root), pick it up by the crown (not by the root surface).
- If your tooth is visibly soiled, GENTLY rinse off the tooth with water only. Do not scrub or wipe the tooth off. Do not dry the tooth. Do not wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
- Attempt to replace your tooth in the tooth socket. Gently push the tooth back in. There maybe some pain and pressure (the longer the tooth is out, the harder it will be to put it back in). Gently hold the tooth in place while you slowly bite down on it. Keep it in place by biting down gently.
- If your tooth cannot be replaced in the socket, it needs to be kept moist. Preferably in your mouth (next to your cheek, don’t swallow it!) or milk or if you have an emergency tooth saving kit, use it. Do not use regular tap water, it will harm the root.
- Try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes of the injury. Maximum time out of the mouth is around 2 hours, however, the longer it is out, the less chance for success.
Trauma to teeth as a result of an accident or sports injury are usually minor in nature. Occasionally, bulk fracture does happen. Essentially, treatment will depend on the location, severity and type of the fracture. Bleeding coming from within the tooth is an emergency and you need to be seen as soon as possible. Often, there is undetectable damage to adjacent teeth which need to be assessed as well.
Chipped or broken teeth usually need to be repaired with a filling. Occasionally, a bulk fracture piece can be rebonded to the tooth if it fits very well back onto the tooth. Extensive fracture of the tooth may require a crown or cap to help protect it long term.
If the tooth is bleeding from within, the dental pulp is exposed. Root canal therapy maybe needed. If your tooth is very sensitive, try to keep the tooth covered with moist gauze of cloth until you can see a dentist. Do not place any pain medication either pill form or topical medication on the tooth.
Fractures that extend below the gum line are not good and tooth prognosis is usually guarded at best.
Sometimes your tooth doesn’t break but gets moved or pushed either sideways, into the socket or out of the socket. Your tooth will need to be put in to its original position. Usually, in these situations the surrounding bone maybe traumatized as well. Once the tooth is repositioned, it will have to be splinted to the adjacent teeth in place to keep it stable while it heals. Often, displaced teeth will need root canal therapy. Long term prognosis is good but sometimes the tooth root may start to disintegrate due to the trauma. This is not good and usually tooth loss will occur. Your displaced tooth will be carefully monitored over time.
Tooth pain due to abscessed tooth can be debilitating. If a tooth becomes painful to chew on or there is swelling in the gum tissue around the tooth, your tooth maybe be abscessed. Essentially, your tooth is infected, and the infection is starting to progress around the end of the tooth root into the surrounding bone. Treatment at this point consists of either tooth extraction or root canal therapy. There are times when a tooth is so severely decayed, that it is not restorable. These teeth need to be extracted. Do not let your tooth progress to this point. Timely treatment of your tooth once symptoms arise will go a long way in preventing tooth loss. See Dr. Vlahos as soon as you can to correct this problem.