Injuries to children’s teeth
can be very distressing for children as well as
their parents. Dental trauma may occur as a result
of a sports mishap, an altercation, a fall inside of
the home, or other causes. Prompt treatment is
essential for the long-term health of an injured
Approximately 30% of
children have experienced dental injuries. Injuries
to the mouth include teeth that are: knocked out,
fractured, forced out of position, pushed up, or
loosened. Root fracture and dental bone fractures
can also occur.
The peak period for trauma
to the primary teeth is 18 to 40 months of age,
because this is a time of increased mobility for the
relatively uncoordinated toddler. Injuries to
primary teeth usually result from falls and
collisions as the child learns to walk and run.
With the permanent teeth:
school-aged boys suffer trauma almost twice as
frequently as girls. Sports accidents and fights are
the most common cause of dental trauma in teenagers.
The upper (maxillary) central incisors are the most
commonly injured teeth. Maxillary teeth protruding
more than 4 mm are two to three times as likely to
suffer dental trauma than normally aligned teeth.
Tooth Ache - Begin by
cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using
warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any
food trapped between teeth. Under no circumstances
should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the
gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold
compress to the area. For temporary pain relief,
acetaminophen is recommended. Please contact us for
an appointment if the pain persists more than a day.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip
or Cheek - Ice can be applied to any
bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle)
pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the
bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues
after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.
Broken Tooth - Rinse the area with warm
water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of
the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Seek
immediate dental attention.
Knocked Out Permanent
Tooth - Recover the tooth, making
sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root.
Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more
than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket,
and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or
cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it
in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is
essential, see a dentist immediately.
Cold or Canker Sores - Over-the-counter medications
will usually provide temporary relief. If sores
persist, visit your dentist.