Dental Injuries

Many people have experienced some form of dental injury and did not know how to manage the situation. In this section, we will go over some of the more common accidents that can happen and will give you some information on how to treat the accidents.

After following the instructions here, you should get to your dentist or emergency room at your local hospital as soon as possible and have a doctor evaluate the injuries.

The topics discussed here will include: Loose or broken teeth from injury to the face or jaws. Knocked out teeth from injury to face or jaws.
Whether you're at work, on vacation or at home, the last thing on your mind is a dental emergency. Would you know the appropriate steps to take if you or your child broke a tooth? The American Dental Association says getting to the dentist within 30 minutes can make a difference between saving or losing a tooth.

  • Saving a Tooth
  • Rinse in tap water
  • Don't scrub it
  • Insert in socket or Place in milk or water
  • Call a dentist

Loose or broken teeth

There are many sports in which trauma can occur. Sports such as basketball, baseball, football and others can result in a blow to the face that may cause your tooth or teeth to become loose.

The first thing to do is to check the tooth for signs of fracture or broken pieces. If there are broken pieces from the tooth, find them and save them. Gently rinse off any debris or dirt with water. Do not at any time scrub the pieces of the tooth with any form of brush or abrasive material . Simply rinse the pieces and place them in either water, milk, or between your cheeks and gums. The idea here is that you want the fragment of tooth to not dry out. By keeping the fragment moist as described above, you will have a greater chance that your dentist will be able to successfully reattach the piece to your tooth.

Now check the portion of your tooth that is still in your mouth. If it is loose, do not try to pull the tooth out. Quickly check the area around the tooth for any fractured pieces of bone. Gently rinse the area with water. Take your self and any pieces of the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible.

The dentist should check the area and make sure that no other injuries have occurred. The typical treatment for a loose tooth is to stabilize the tooth in the mouth. After numbing you up, your dentist will reposition the tooth in its original position. He will then bond the tooth to the adjacent teeth using a plastic material called composite. This will stabilize the tooth and prevent it from moving. Once stabilized the bone that holds the tooth in place will heal and the tooth will become firm.

After about two weeks, the composite bonding can be removed, as the tooth will have healed.

Knocked Out Teeth

If you have a tooth knocked out from trauma, there are several things that you can do to increase the chance of saving the tooth.

First and foremost, find the tooth. Once you find the tooth, do not touch the root of the tooth. The root is the long part that stays in the bone. There are many delicate fibers and cells on the root and if they are damaged by careless handling, this will decrease the likelihood that the bone will reattach itself to the tooth.

Hold the tooth by the crown, the portion that is visible in the mouth. Inspect the tooth and make sure that there is no debris or dirt on the tooth. If visible debris is present, gently rinse with either warm water (not to hot) or milk. Do not at any time scrub the tooth with any sort of brush, as this will cause irreversible damage to the tooth.
If you can, attempt to gently place the tooth back in the jawbone. If the tooth does not go in its original position, or it is uncomfortable or painful for you to do so, do not force the tooth in place. If you can place the tooth back in the socket, place it there and get to your dentist or emergency room immediately.

If unable to place the tooth back, you have several choices. Either place the tooth in a glass of milk or water. Another option is to place the tooth between your cheek and gums. This will prevent the tooth from drying out and will greatly increase the chances that your dentist can save the tooth. Studies and research have shown that the sooner you can get to the dentist, the better chance you have for saving the tooth. The main factor for saving your tooth is to keep it moist and not let it dry out. This is why keeping the tooth in either milk or between your cheek is important. Additionally there are kits available at your local drug store that contain a special solution that prevents the tooth from drying out.

You should get to the emergency room or your dentist within an hour as this gives you the best chance for saving your tooth. Teeth that have been knocked out and left dry for more than four hours have the poorest chance of survival. If the tooth is kept in a drug store kit (most common one is called Sav-A-Tooth) they have been successfully re implanted in the jawbone after 24 hours.

Once you arrive at your dentist, he will take an x-ray to make sure there are no visible fractures. He will then reposition the tooth back in its socket and stabilize the tooth using a plastic material called composite. This will prevent the tooth from moving around and allow the bone to heal around the tooth. The teeth are stabilized for about two weeks after which the bonding is removed.

Any time you have an injury to a tooth, there is a chance that the nerve of the tooth will die. This will require that the tooth will need a root canal to remove the nerve. Common symptoms of a root canal include discoloration of the tooth, pain in the tooth.

Bitten Tounge or Lip

Clean the area gently with a cloth and then apply cold compresses to reduce the swelling. If the bleeding doesn't stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught Between the Teeth

Try to gently remove the object with dental floss and avoid cutting the gums. Do not use a sharp instrument. If you're not successful in removing the object, go to the dentist.


Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Make sure food or foreign objects aren't lodged around the tooth by using dental floss.
"Don't ever put aspirin or any painkiller on the gums or around the aching tooth because it can cause a burn on the mouth and do more harm than good"

See more on: What Causes Toothache?