Tooth Injuries

ExitCare ImageA tooth has many layers. The outside is the enamel. The enamel is the white part. Under the enamel is the dentin. Under the dentin is the pulp, the nerves, and the blood vessels. The top part is the crown. The bottom part is the root.

Three common tooth injuries include:

  • Breaks (fractures) usually split the tooth into 2 or more parts.

  • Shifts of the tooth at the level of the root.

  • A tooth that comes out.

HOME CARE

  • Minor breaks usually do not require seeing a dentist right away.

  • Handle tooth fragments by the outside layer. Bring these fragments to the dentist.

  • A tooth can also be loosened by injury and show no sign of a problem. See a dentist for an X-ray. The X-ray will look for problems below the gum line.

  • Gently biting into gauze or a towel will help control bleeding. An exposed nerve requires a dental exam and care. Getting help right away is not needed if the pain is controlled.

  • Only take medicine as told by your dentist.

  • Finish all medicine as told by your dentist.

  • Avoid eating solid foods and see a dentist within 24 hours.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • The pain is becoming worse rather than better.

  • The pain does not get better with medicine.

  • You have increased puffiness (swelling) or redness in your face near the injured tooth.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.