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Injuries to the mouth may include:
- Teeth that are knocked out (avulsed)
- Forced out of position (extruded)
- Broken (fractured)
Sometimes lips, gums or cheeks have cuts. Oral injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
When a tooth is knocked out you should:
- Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment
- Attempt to find the tooth
- Gently rinse, but do not scrub the tooth to remove dirt or debris
- Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum
- Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket. This could cause further damage
- Get to the dentist as soon as possible. If it is within a half hour of the injury, it may be possible to re-implant your tooth
- If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, (e.g., young child) wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk
If the tooth is pushed out of place (inward or outward):
- It should be repositioned to its normal alignment with very light finger pressure
- Do not force the tooth into the socket
- Hold the tooth in place with a moist tissue or gauze
- It is vital that the injured individual be seen by a dentist within 30 minutes
How a fractured tooth is treated will depend on how badly it is broken. Regardless of the damage, treatment should always be determined by a dentist:
Minor fractures can be smoothed by your dentist or simply left alone, another option is to restore the tooth with a composite restoration. In either case, you should treat the tooth with care for several days.
Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, dentin and/or pulp.
If the pulp is not permanently damaged, the tooth may be restored with a full permanent crown. If pulpal damage does occur further dental treatment will be required
Severe fracture – Severe fractures often mean a traumatised tooth with a slim chance of recovery.
Injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth:
These can include tears, puncture wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue. The wound should be cleaned right away and the injured person taken to the A&E at your nearest hospital for the necessary suturing and wound repair. Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to pressure the wound area.