A traumatic dental injury may occur when you least expect it. It’s important to know how to respond if it should happen to you. For any type of traumatic dental injury, the best course of action is to get to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon as quickly as possible. Oral surgery experts understand the intricacies of the oral and facial structures and can provide rapid treatment and relief of pain.
What to do for sudden jaw pain
Sudden jaw pain is often the result of an injury resulting from contact sports, a car accident, or a fall. It may indicate a fracture or jaw joint injury. You can apply a cold compress to the exterior of your jaw. If you didn’t injure your jaw, then it may be severe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. In addition to using a cold compress, try gently massaging the area. In either case, you should seek help from an oral and maxillofacial specialist right away.
What to do for a broken tooth
Broken teeth may range in severity from a minor chip to a major fracture. If you have a minor chip, you can see a dentist for dental bonding. This isn’t an emergency situation, although sometimes chipped teeth can become sensitive. On the other hand, a major fracture requires prompt attention. It may be possible to save the tooth. The chances improve the sooner emergency dental care is sought. Depending on the situation, the oral surgeon may perform a splinting procedure or send you to a root canal specialist. In some cases, extraction is necessary.
What to do for a loosened or displaced tooth
The only teeth that should ever feel loose are one’s baby teeth. If your adult teeth have become loose or look displaced, you should see an oral surgeon the same day. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can often save loosened teeth with splinting.
What to do for a knocked-out tooth
One of the most severe traumatic dental injuries is the complete loss of a tooth. A knocked-out tooth, clinically referred to as an avulsed tooth, may still be saved. However, it’s vital to get to an oral surgeon as soon as possible. Immediately following the accident, you should pick up the tooth. Hold it by the crown, which is the white part, never by the root. Rinse the tooth in water, but never scrub the root.
If possible, try to place the tooth and its root back in the socket. Make sure it’s properly aligned. Never try to force the tooth back in, however. If it won’t go back in, the important thing is to keep it moist. You can use a tooth preservation kit if you have one handy (they are available in drugstores). If not, place the tooth in a glass of milk. If you have no milk handy, use a glass of water. If all else fails, place the tooth in the pouch between your cheek and teeth. Be very careful not to bite down on the tooth root.
Get to an oral surgeon within the hour—the sooner, the better. An avulsed tooth has the best chance of being saved if it receives treatment within an hour.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Bucks County, PA
A traumatic dental injury can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disfigurement. It’s important to choose specialists who can thoroughly evaluate the situation and recommend the most appropriate course of action for restoring your full dental function and your appearance.
In Bucks County, PA, turn to the oral surgeons at Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery. Our oral and maxillofacial trauma doctors provide the personalized care you need in emergency situations. Call 215.322.7810 to request a prompt appointment in Newtown and Feasterville.
Additional resources on dental injuries:
- American Association of Endodontists, Knocked Out Teeth, https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/knocked-out-teeth/
- Harvard Medical School, What could cause my sudden jaw pain? https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/what-could-cause-my-sudden-jaw-pain