How to Protect Your Smile from Oral Injury and Tooth Loss
By Dr. David Wyse on December 16, 2016
Oral injuries can occur at anytime. Oral injuries may cause dental fractures, chips, or even dislodge a tooth. One of the best ways to protect the smile after an oral injury is to act fast and seek dental treatment. Fortunately, there are many restorative dentistry treatments available to repair dental damage or replace lost teeth to restore your dental health and appearance. If you require emergency treatment for an oral injury and tooth loss, we encourage you to contact Bloomington, IL dentists Jay W. Chrisman and David D. Wyse.
What Causes Oral Injuries?
Oral injuries have many potential causes and often occur without notice. It only takes a simple slip and fall to chip a tooth or knock it out. Sports-related injuries, whether colliding with another player or getting hit in the mouth with sports equipment, can also cause serious oral injuries. Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports can help protect the smile, but many other oral injuries are often unavoidable.
Some causes of oral injuries to be aware of include:
- A bicycle or rollerblading accident
- A car or motorcycle accident
- Being hit in the mouth
- Sports-related injury
Steps to Take after an Oral Injury
Acting quickly after an oral injury, especially one that causes a tooth to fall out or become dislodged, may allow us to save the tooth. Seeking dental treatment as soon as possible is critical, even if no damage is apparent.
Although a tooth may seem fine after an oral injury, damage may have occurred below the gum line, at the root of the tooth. When the tooth's roots are damaged or traumatized, the blood vessels that nourish the teeth may be injured. It may take days or weeks for the damage to reach the tooth, causing the tooth to turn gray and die. In circumstances where a tooth is either dislodged or completely knocked out of its socket, it's even more vital to take immediate action.
Taking the following steps may help prevent tooth loss after an oral injury:
- Find the lost tooth
- Avoid touching the roots of the tooth and instead lift by the crown
- Rinse the tooth in milk or a mixture of clean water and salt
- Avoid letting the tooth dry out
- Carefully place the tooth back into the empty gum socket
- Lightly bite down on a clean, soft cloth or gauze to help hold the tooth in place
- Immediately schedule an emergency dental appointment
Restorative Treatments for Oral Injury and Tooth Loss
Unfortunately, some people may lose one or more teeth after an oral injury. Thankfully, there are many treatments available to restore missing teeth for improved dental function and appearance.
Those who suffer from tooth loss may benefit from traditional bridges, dentures, or dental implants. Dental implants are surgically placed metal posts that can be paired with different types of restorations, including dental crowns, implant-supported bridges, and implant-supported dentures, to replace one or more lost teeth. Those who have not lost a tooth from an oral injury but have experienced dental damage of some form, like a chip or fracture, may benefit from porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or dental crowns.
Discover Your Treatment Options
To learn more about your treatment options after an oral injury, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at Chrisman and Wyse Cosmetic and General Dentistry.
“I love my "new teeth." I feel so much better about my smile. The staff at Dr. Chrisman's office was very friendly and professional. I would recommend them to anyone looking for excellent dental care.” Jennifer B