Dental Trauma

Dental trauma is any mouth, cheek, tongue, lips, teeth, gums, or jawbone injury. Soft tissue and dental injuries are painful and should be urgently treated to avoid medical complications. 

Dental trauma can be inflicted by multiple causes, such as:

  • Car accidents 
  • Contact sport injuries
  • Fist fights
  • Chewing hard food

Treatment outcome for dental trauma depends entirely on the immediate care given to the wound. Emergency treatment within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving or losing a tooth. 

An untreated fractured or dislodged tooth can lead to a dental abscess or pocket of bacteria. Not attending to these issues might end up causing an infection that could spread to other parts of the body and become a more significant health concern. 

To identify the type of trauma and ideal care, your dentist will ask some questions and review your medical history. X-rays from your mouth and jaw will be taken to determine the damage extent and provide a precise diagnosis with a personalized treatment plan.

Types of Dental Trauma

Dental trauma can be a teeth-related injury or could be associated with your mouth's surrounding areas. The types of dental trauma may include the following:

Teeth-Related Trauma

Teeth-related trauma can include multiple types of injuries, such as:

  • Tooth dislodgement: A dislodged tooth happens when it is pushed into or out of its socket. If the blow that caused the displacement was severe, it may knock the tooth out entirely or fracture its supporting jawbone.
  • Tooth fracture: A tooth fracture can go from a small crack in the enamel to a severe fracture that exposes the tooth pulp. A more significant fracture increases the risk of developing a dental abscess or infection.

Soft Tissue Dental Trauma

Soft tissue dental trauma includes multiple types of injury, such as:

  • Lip laceration
  • Gum laceration
  • Tongue laceration
  • Cheek laceration

Dental Trauma Diagnosis and Treatment

During your emergency treatment for a fractured, dislodged tooth, or soft-tissue injury, your dentist will review and clean the area. The treatment to follow may be one of the following options:

  • For a dislodged tooth: The treatment options for a dislodged tooth case that is not severe often include placing a splint or wire bracket. If the trauma is significant, your dentist will evaluate the possibility of performing a root canal
  • For a fractured tooth: Depending on its length, the fracture may be covered with a crown and/or require treatment with a root canal.
  • For a soft-tissue injury: Depending on the extension and depth of the damage, the dentist may apply a topical treatment to reduce swelling and avoid infections or suture the wound closed.

The ideal treatment for dental trauma will depend entirely on the extent of the injury. If your tooth is too damaged from breakage, a tooth extraction might need to be performed.

What to Do in Case of Dental Trauma

Contact your dentist immediately if you suffer an injury that causes a fractured tooth or soft-tissue laceration. In the meantime, we recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication and rinsing your mouth regularly to eliminate food debris. 

In case of a dislodged tooth, try holding it in place by biting down slowly and gently into a gauze or moist paper towel. If you can’t put the tooth into the socket, place it between your cheek and gum or in a container of milk until you see your dentist.

Dental Trauma Treatment in Sisters, Oregon

Pine Desert Dental offers emergency dental care for all types of dental trauma, including teeth fractures, dislodgment, and soft-tissue lacerations. We have comprehensive emergency dentistry for urgent dental concerns, where root canals, crowns, and sutures can be performed to address injuries. 

Dr. Zach Sunitsch and the Pine Desert Dental team can handle all your dental needs. He is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. 

For emergency treatment or more information, call us at (541) 549-01-09 or request an appointment online. You can also visit us at our clinic in Sisters, Oregon.

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