Teeth are strong and don’t get damaged easily. However, accidents can weaken the roots, damage the gums, and cause trauma to the teeth. People who lead an active lifestyle are more likely to sustain such injuries. Thankfully, modern dentistry has advanced enough to restore all kinds of damage; so if you do break or chip your tooth, you can easily get it repaired by your family dentist. Your smile will be as good as it has always been and you won’t have to worry about tooth decay.
What are the Common Causes of Dental Trauma?
Dental trauma like broken and chipped teeth can happen to anyone at any time. It’s important to identify and respond to the damage quickly. Here are some of the common causes of such trauma:
- Biting a hard substance – This is one of the most common causes of teeth damage. If you bite down on a stone, seed, or bone, your teeth will sustain trauma.
- Fights/being hit – If you’re hit or punched in the face or mouth, your teeth might sustain damage.
- Trips and falls – This is also one of the most common causes of teeth damage. Most people instinctively brace themselves in order to protect their face, but if they don’t, the fall can damage the teeth.
- Cavities – A cavity weakens the tooth and makes it more prone to damage. If the tooth is weak enough, even biting a moderately hard substance will damage it considerably.
- Old amalgam fillings – These fillings don’t provide much support to the natural enamel of the tooth, which can make it weaker and more susceptible to breaks.
What to do in case of dental trauma:
When you sustain dental trauma, you need to react quickly to preserve your overall mental health and save your teeth from further damage. Here’s how you should react to dental trauma:
- Make an Appointment – Call you dentist’s office and make an appointment immediately. You need to get treatment quickly in order to avoid infection.
- Rinse Your Mouth – Use warm water to rinse your mouth immediately and avoid food until you can visit the dentist.
- Cover the Tooth – If you can’t visit the dentist immediately after the incident or are unable to get an appointment on the same day, you should cover your damaged tooth with dental cement.
Dental Trauma Guide – Different Types of Damage
Here’s a brief look at the types of injury you can sustain:
- Dislodged Tooth – A tooth can become dislodged from the socket due to the force of impact. In most cases, the tooth remains within the socket but is loose and moves when touched. If the tooth is knocked out of the socket or avulsed, you need to replant it within the first five minutes. That will help you save the tooth and avoid complicated replacement procedures.
- Chipped Tooth – Your tooth is chipped if a small portion of it is separated from the main tooth body. If the chip is small, the dentist will just polish the edge to ensure it appears even. If you have a medium-sized chip, the dentist will apply a veneer or dental cap on the teeth. If you have a large chip, the dentist will have to perform a root canal and add a crown in order to protect the natural tooth and keep it in place.
- Broken Tooth – Broken tooth is similar to a severely chipped tooth but this injury is much more painful. The tooth’s dentin is exposed when it breaks so it’s vulnerable to infection and bacteria. A broken tooth can cause moderate to severe pain and should be treated immediately. If the break is deep enough, your tooth’s nerve or the pulp will be exposed and that can cause intense pain.
- Cracked Tooth – If your tooth is cracked, its structure is still intact in the socket. You don’t have two or three separate pieces but a single piece with a fissure or crack on the surface. This can also be small, medium, and large in severity. The dentist will assess the extent of the damage carefully before they recommend treatment. Most dentists perform a root canal and add dental crowns just to ensure there are no infections in the future.
Dislodged, chipped, cracked, and broken teeth constitute as dental emergencies because they must be addressed immediately. If you delay, you risk getting an infection and that can be more difficult and painful to deal with. It’s also a good idea to wear some form of dental protection when you play sports in order to avoid damaged or chipped teeth. Proper dental care and good oral hygiene will ensure you have strong teeth that are more resistant to damage.