Traumatic Oral Injuries: What To Do At Home

If you sustain a traumatic oral injury, then you will need to visit a general dentistry professional as soon as possible. While receiving general dental care for your oral injury will help ensure that you heal properly, there are some things that you can do at home prior to your appointment that will further ensure that you enjoy a favorable prognosis. If you sustain soft tissue or dental injuries as a result of a traumatic event, consider the following interventions prior to your dental appointment.

Soft Tissue Trauma

If your traumatic oral injuries involved your gum tissue, insides of your cheek, tongue, or lip, gently rinse your mouth with cold water, and if possible, apply pressure over the affected area to stop the bleeding. If a portion of the tissue is at risk for falling off, do not aggravate the area. Doing so may promote scarring and it may pose challenges to the oral surgeon or dentist if they need to suture the area. In addition, if a tooth penetrated the lip or tongue, try to remain calm and do not make an attempt to remove it. Doing so may cause additional damage and may lead to oral hemorrhage if the injury is located in close proximity to a blood vessel.

Tooth Trauma

If one or more of your teeth have been knocked out or broken, retrieve the missing and broken teeth so that you can bring them with you to your dentist. If possible, gently replace the missing tooth into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth into a cup of milk so that the tooth stays moist and does not dry out.

Milk is preferable to water because submerging a tooth in water may damage the root. If you are too afraid or anxious to place the missing tooth back into its socket, simply use the milk method. If you are nervous, your hands may shake while attempting to put the tooth back into the socket, and because of this, you may accidentally reinjure the soft tissue if it is scraped with the edge of the tooth. 

If you sustain a traumatic oral injury to the soft tissues of your mouth or to your teeth, consider the above interventions and then seek prompt dental care. When oral injuries are treated soon after they occur, complications such as permanent tooth loss, scarring, and oral tissue damage may be less likely to occur.