Tooth Trauma

Injury Definition

  • Loosened tooth - if mild, usually tightens up on its own (may bleed a little from the gums).
  • Displaced tooth (usually pushed inward)
  • Chipped or fractured tooth
  • To prevent permanent pulpal damage, fractures into the pulp need to be treated within 24 hours.
  • Avulsed (knocked out) tooth is a dental emergency for permanent teeth

Call Your Dentist Now (night or day) If

  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • Permanent tooth knocked out (Reason: needs reimplantation ASAP; 2 hours is the deadline for survival. First Aid Advice: Transport the tooth in some saliva or milk. If over 30 minutes away, try to replace the tooth in the socket before coming in.
  • Permanent tooth is almost falling out
  • Baby tooth is almost falling out
  • Bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Tooth is greatly pushed out of its normal position
  • Tooth that's pushed out of its normal position interferes with normal bite
  • Severe pain
  • Age < 1 year old

Call Your Dentist Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If

  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Baby tooth knocked out by trauma (Reason: can't be reimplanted but dentist will check damage to permanent tooth)
  • Tooth is slightly pushed out of its normal position
  • Can see a chip or fracture line in the tooth
  • Tooth sensitive to cold fluids
  • Tooth feels very loose when you try to move it

Call Your Dentist During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns

Parent Care at Home If

  • Mild tooth injury and you don't think your child needs to be seen

Home Care Advice for Mild Dental Injuries

  1. Local Cold: For pain, apply a piece of ice or a Popsicle to the injured gum area for 20 minutes.
  2. Pain Medicine: If it still hurts, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  3. Soft Diet: For any loose teeth, offer a soft diet for 3 days. By then, it should be tightened up.
  4. Call Your Dentist If
    • Pain become severe
    • Tooth becomes sensitive to hot or cold fluids
    • Tooth becomes a darker color
    • Your child becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Dentist Now" symptoms