Tooth knocked out? The ideal solution will surprise you!
15th September 2015
We've all seen it
If you have ever played or watched a contact sport, you are likely to have witnessed a player suffer a nasty blow to the face. Sometimes, despite taking the recommended precautions, a freak accident or very high-impact facial contact will still result in serious damage to your teeth, lips, gums and/or mouth.
Should this happen to you, please call us as soon as possible – in these emergency situations, the sooner we are able to assess and treat your injury, the better chance we have of helping you to minimise or avoid long-term damages and costs.
Your response can make all the difference
Between the time of the injury and seeing a dentist, there are several useful steps you can take to help you or your teammate:
1. Save the Tooth!
If a tooth is knocked out of your mouth completely, it is important to try and find it straight away. In some cases you may have inadvertently swallowed the knocked tooth, but more likely, it will have been knocked loose in your mouth or fallen onto the ground. If the tooth is dirty when you find it, ensure that you quickly have it cleaned (saline solution or milk works best, however clean water will also suffice). Try not to damage the tooth by scrubbing it too much – there are still living cells in and on the tooth’s surface which we want to keep alive!
2. Put it Back!
This may sound gross, but the best place for a knocked or loose tooth is back in the mouth. If possible, we would strongly recommend that you wear gloves to do this, as there will be substantial amounts of blood due to the accident. If putting the tooth back in its socket is too confronting, try keeping the tooth wet and inside your mouth (between the cheek and back teeth). Again, if you have saline solution or milk available, soaking your tooth and surrounding areas in this will help preserve the tooth cells while you are on the way to your dentist.
3. Position Correctly
If your tooth has been knocked loose but is still in your mouth, the same rules apply. If possible, try and move your tooth to its original position as best you can. It is still important that you come in and see your dentist at Cornerstone Dentistry as soon as possible to ensure that the positioning is correct. The sooner we see you, the more effectively we can correct any positioning problems with your tooth – wait too long, and the incorrect positioning may become permanent.
4. Double Check
We strongly recommend that you have your teeth checked out after any trauma to your mouth. This will enable your dentist to address any problems early on and will help to minimise the dental treatment you require in the long term.
An ounce of prevention
Wearing a custom fitted mouthguard during sports is the most cost-effective way to protect your teeth, tongue and mouth from serious injury. An accidental elbow or errant knee from an opponent to your face is always going to hurt – however wearing a mouthguard can significantly reduce the impact and long-term damage to your teeth.
At Dentists of Hawthorn, we strongly recommend that if you are playing any contact sport this winter, you ensure your mouthguard is either professionally made or checked. Taking this simple precaution could save you thousands of dollars of dental work to repair preventable damage.
Should you have any concerns or questions following an accident or injury resulting in trauma to your teeth or mouth, please contact your dentist at Dentists of Hawthorn on , or via email or Facebook.
~ Dr Aaron Wong
Dentists of Hawthorn
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