Do you know what to do with a knocked-out tooth? Whether the cause is sports, an accident, or assault, it is important to know what to do and when to do it. Injuring a tooth is never fun, but the good news is that most teeth can be reinserted into the tooth socket if you keep the ligament alive. Though the best choice is to get to Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist, as soon as possible, there are some important tips to know along the way.
Handle the Tooth Gently
When a tooth is severed from its socket, the ligament attached is destroyed. In order to properly survive, the tooth needs all the tiny nerve fibers to remain attached. First, carefully pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root. Gently wipe any excess dirt from the tooth and either set it back into the socket or hold it between your cheek and gums in your mouth as you are heading for emergency help, hopefully within 15 to 30 minutes. Bathing the tooth in your own saliva will help keep it alive.
Storing the Tooth
If the tooth cannot be placed in the person’s mouth, the next best thing to place it in cold, whole milk. You can also obtain a special pH-balanced, cell-cultured solution that will keep the tooth alive for a longer period of time. Many dentists have this option in their dental practices in order to save a tooth that has been knocked out.
Teeth Lost to Disease Can’t Be Saved
A tooth lost due to an accident has a 90 percent chance of being saved if proper procedure is followed, but for one lost due to periodontal disease, none of these measures will help. The lesson here is to make sure you see your dentist for regular checkups, and if you show signs of gum disease, make sure to seek treatment.
The Importance of a Mouth Guard and How to Care for Your Mouth Guard
A mouth guard is a soft plastic or laminate device used in sports to prevent oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw. The American Dental Association projects that one third of all dental injuries are sports related. The use of a mouth guard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year. The good news is, Dr. Jaleel can custom-make a mouth guard just for you!
Both before and after wearing a mouth guard it’s important to both brush and rinse your teeth. Doing this before you put the guard on helps to clean and rid the teeth of any bacteria that remains in the mouth so that it doesn’t spread to the guard. The mouth is always full of bacteria of all forms, the good and the bad. Keeping your mouth clean is the only way to create a healthy balance. Brush and rinse after wearing a mouth guard to rid the mouth of any bacteria that may have been on the guard.
Equally important is the manner in which the athletic mouth guard is stored. It should be stored in a clean container that is moisture-free and has air vents. Regular cleaning of the container helps to prevent the spread of germs, as well. Wash the container using a non-toxic cleaner and warm water and ensure that it is completely dry before placing the mouth guard inside.
As hard as it may seem, especially during those finger biting moments of the game, discourage the habit of chewing on the mouth guard. Although it may seem harmless, chewing on the guard creates tiny holes. These holes can serve as a home for bacteria. Once this harmful bacteria is present, there is very little you can do to prevent it from spreading. A guard that is showing clearly visible signs of wear and tear probably needs to be replaced. It may even be helpful to take the mouth guard along with you to a dental appointment. Allow Dr. Jaleel to look over it and advise you on whether it’s time for a replacement.
So You Chipped Your Tooth—Now What?
Before you do anything else, don’t panic! There are tried-and-true methods that you can use to fix your chipped-tooth situation. Just stay calm, take a deep breath, and follow the instructions below. These steps will help you minimize the damage to your tooth and the rest of your mouth, and help you with the pain and the confusion. Just remember that everything will be okay.
First thing to do is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jaleel immediately because we do provide dental emergency care, but this is what you can do in the meantime:
1. First, get warm salt-water and gargle it. This will prevent any infections from forming in your cracked or chipped tooth.
2. If you’ve chipped your tooth so badly that you’re bleeding, you should place gauze over the area and apply gentle pressure for about 10 minutes. The bleeding should stop then, but if it doesn’t, you should put ice on your jaw near the chipped tooth to shrink the blood vessels.
3. Cover any sharp, cracked edges with wax or something else soft and clean until you can get to the dentist. You don’t want to accidentally cut any part of your mouth and make the situation worse.
4. If pieces of the tooth fell elsewhere, you need to save them in case Dr. Jaleel can reattach them. If they fell in your mouth, you should rinse your mouth with water and spit them into a container. Spitting slowly prevents any bleeding areas from reopening, and it ensures that you don’t accidentally spit the pieces across the room and lose them.
5. Take a pain reliever if you’re in pain and you notice swelling around the injured area.
Broke Your Tooth? Dr. Jaleel is here to help!
You may have bitten down on a hard food or object, or perhaps you had a cavity that weakened your tooth. Either way, your tooth is now broken, and the steps you take to care for it will determine whether you get to keep your natural tooth or not. Millions of people suffer from broken teeth every year, so you are not alone. However, that does not mean your newly cracked tooth does not need immediate attention.
What is a Broken Tooth?
A broken tooth is one that has been fractured, chipped, cracked, broken apart, or completely knocked out of the mouth. You may or may not feel your tooth break, depending on the extent of the break and whether your tooth was decaying prior to the break. It is usually very easy to diagnose a broken tooth, because the evidence will be visible. In the case of hairline cracks in the teeth, you may start to note a sensitivity to hot or cold in the neighborhood of the fracture.
The Right Way to Handle a Broken Tooth
As soon as you know your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, make an appointment to visit our emergency dental office. Even the tiniest fractures require attention: bacteria can infect the fractured area, which could cause you to lose the tooth altogether.
Until you are in our office, you can manage your pain using over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, or you can apply a cold compress to prevent swelling and inflammation. Be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water after every meal until you are able to visit us.
Keep in mind that while pain medication is an effective way to manage a broken tooth at home, it is only a temporary fix. Broken teeth should not be treated solely at home, and over-the-counter solutions are not substitutions for professional dental care. Failing to make an appointment with Dr. Andreas Azarko after breaking or chipping a tooth can place your health at risk.
Treating your broken tooth will depend on the type of break you have and how much of the tooth is affected. According to the Canadian Dental Association, a minor chip or tiny fracture line may be repaired with bonding. On the other hand, a more serious break that exposes the tooth’s pulp may require a root canal or extraction to prevent infection. Ultimately, our team here at Fairlawn Dental Clinic will explain to you the best treatment plan based upon our evaluation of the condition and extent of your break.
If you have broken, cracked, chipped, or fractured one or more of your teeth, don’t hesitate to contact our office immediately.
2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1
Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3
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