The Symptoms of Tooth Trauma — Chipped or Broken Tooth Treatment
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency in Wheeling, IL, you should be careful when choosing a dentist. Tooth trauma requires a proper diagnosis and a timely response. Fast and effective treatment can make all the difference in saving your tooth. Additionally, choosing a skilled dentist will ensure you don’t experience any swelling, infection, or nerve damage in the long run.
Chipped or broken teeth are an inconvenience. You may think emergency dental care for tooth trauma isn’t necessary. However, if you don’t tend to a broken tooth, it can lead to many issues later on. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of tooth trauma and why you shouldn’t ignore them.
Types of Tooth Trauma
Any injury to the face or head can cause your tooth to chip or break. However, automobile accidents, sports injuries, and falls are the most common causes of dental trauma. There are three main types of dental injury — chipped, cracked, and knocked-out teeth. Each requires a unique treatment plan, so it’s important to learn to differentiate them. Here are the main differences between the three types of tooth trauma:
A chipped or a broken tooth occurs more commonly in the front teeth. Although a broken tooth usually won’t cause an infection, it can interfere with your day-to-day life in other ways. Firstly, you may not like the appearance of a broken front tooth. Secondly, it may interfere with your ability to chew.
A broken tooth isn’t a tooth emergency. However, most people choose to fix the problem with a tooth-colored filling. Treating a chipped tooth is quick and simple, meaning most skilled dentists will be able to finish it within a day. Still, for a few weeks after your restoration, you should be careful while chewing and brushing your teeth. Make sure not to bite down on harder foods with the tooth, as it will need a while to heal.
It’s more common for the teeth in the back of your mouth to crack, as opposed to chipping. A cracked tooth can result from teeth grinding, chewing hard foods, or head trauma. It can range from a small crack that doesn’t require treatment to a much more severe fracture. Additionally, the crack can extend into the gum line, or even break the tooth in two.
Cracked teeth require a more invasive procedure than chipped teeth. However, if you notice the crack and act on it quickly, you’ll still be able to salvage your tooth. On the other hand, if you ignore it, the problem will worsen. If the crack extends into the root or the gum line, your dentist will try to save your tooth by performing a root canal. However, if that doesn’t work, they will suggest a tooth extraction.
A knocked-out tooth, otherwise known as an avulsed tooth, often happens as a result of a head injury. If your tooth gets knocked out, you should contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Make sure not to touch the tooth too much. If it isn’t knocked out completely, hold it at the crown end while gently pushing it down, toward the root end.
However, if the tooth’s out completely, rinse it with a bit of water and put it back in its socket as soon as possible. The tooth shouldn’t be exposed to fluids that aren’t part of its natural environment. Therefore, you should keep it in its socket or at least in your mouth. Your saliva is the natural environment of your teeth, so keeping your tooth in it gives you the best chance of tooth reattachment.
Symptoms of Tooth Trauma
Severe tooth trauma, such as a knocked-out tooth, is hard to miss. However, you may not be able to notice the signs of a chipped or a cracked tooth before it becomes too severe. These are the most common symptoms of dental trauma you should be aware of:
- a loose, cracked, chipped, out of place, or missing tooth
- a tooth with a sharp edge
- bleeding from the mouth, lips, or tongue
- jaw stiffness and trouble moving the mouth
- a difference in the way teeth fit together when the mouth is not open
Tooth Trauma Healing Time
How much time it takes for a tooth to heal will depend on many factors. For one, a more severe injury will take longer to heal than a simple chipped tooth. It will also depend on how soon you contact your dentist for an appointment. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, it will depend on how skilled your dentist is at their job.
Going to the nearest walk-in dentist in case of an emergency may seem like a good idea. However, by doing that you risk having an inexperienced dentist fixing your tooth. If you want to make sure you’ll be safe in case of an emergency, find a dentist you trust who also does emergency dental care. That way you’ll know who to go to if your tooth gets chipped, cracked, or comes loose.
Emergency Dental Services
Tooth traumas fall under emergency dental services. That means you’ll be able to get an appointment within 24 hours if you’ve experienced a dental injury. In addition to cracked and chipped teeth, dental emergencies include the following:
- uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth
- gum infections or swelling of the gums
- trauma that involves facial bones, as it can compromise the airway
- severe dental pain
- third-molar pain
- post-operative osteitis
- biopsy of the gums
If you want to learn more about what constitutes a dental emergency, click here. Additionally, if you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Let them know what your symptoms are so you can make sure you get to an appointment within 24 hours.
Most tooth traumas require emergency dental care. If you notice any changes to your teeth, you should contact your dentist immediately. Additionally, if you experience a head injury, visit your dentist even if you don’t have symptoms of dental trauma. It’s always better to make sure your teeth didn’t suffer any damage before the problem gets too big.