Dental emergencies can happen anytime and can range from loosened teeth, knocked out teeth, or severe toothaches. It's always advisable to seek immediate medical attention whenever dental trauma or pain occurs.
If an injury loosens your tooth in its socket or if the gums surrounding your tooth bleed a lot, you should seek medical help without delay. A loosened tooth that is relocated and stabilized swiftly often stays in position permanently. Extremely loosened deciduous (baby) teeth in front of the mouth are usually removed to prevent any harm to the remaining permanent teeth.
Individuals who have knocked out a permanent tooth or baby tooth should seek medical attention to avoid any possible complications. It’s not advisable to re-implant knocked out baby teeth because they may be infected; besides, re-implanting them may interfere with the growth of the permanent teeth. On the other hand, a knocked out permanent tooth is an emergency situation that requires medical help.
A knocked out permanent tooth should be retrieved and gently rinsed under cold water for about ten seconds. No scrubbing though, because it can eliminate some of the most vital tissues on the root that are required to reattach the tooth. If possible, try to put the knocked out tooth back in its position. If you are not able to put the tooth back in its socket, place it in a glass of milk or wrap it in a moistened paper towel for transport to the dentist. Milk provides an environment to nourish the knocked out tooth.
A knocked out tooth with the highest probability of being saved is the one that is returned to its socket within one hour after being knocked out.
Jaw pain and toothache are common symptoms of dental injuries. Individuals often experience pain when chewing food. Although your tooth may have been knocked out, loosened, pushed into the gum line, or fallen out, other less common symptoms may include:
- Facial swelling.
- Isolated bleeding from your mouth.
- An observable change in the color of your tooth (this may take a longer time to appear but it is possible).
- Cuts surrounding the cheeks and lips.
For a tooth or teeth that are just loose in their socket, treatment is usually simple. Avoid solid foods for at least a week. For a tooth that undergoes masticatory stress and needs to be stabilized, plastic bond, metal arch bars, or a dental wire can be used for about 10 to 14 days.
When it comes to a knocked-out permanent tooth, the sooner the tooth is placed back in its socket, the better its chances to heal. It's always advisable that you have the tooth placed back in its socket within one hour. Once implanted, the tooth should be stabilized. Of course, you won’t be able to do all these procedures on your own, which means you will need to go to the dentist as soon as possible to save your tooth.