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Icy Tooth Accidents in Oregon
Posted on 11/16/2015 by Dr Mark Mutschler
With winter coming to Oregon, it is time to think about preventing falls that damage teeth.
Icy hills are lots of fun to slide down but those smiles can quickly turn to frowns and tears with a bad fall.
If your child gets into an accident that damages teeth, follow these steps:
Check that there are no skull, neck, or back injuries first.
Cuts / scrapes on the head will bleed heavily so control any bleeding with pressure.
Look at the eyes and nose for anything unusual.
Move the jaw to see if there is any strange movement or lack of movement.
Lips are frequently scraped and swollen. Apply cold clothes to reduce swelling.
Look at the tongue and inside of lips and cheeks for bites or tears. Call the doctor if bleeding will not stop.
Make sure the teeth come together as before and call the dentist if there are changes.
If permanent teeth are knocked out of position or out of the mouth, put them back where they came from as soon as possible. Then call the dentist immediately.
Chipped teeth can be fix fairly easily. If a large piece is found, keep it moist and bring to the dentist.
We do not usually worry about baby teeth that get knocked out but an x-ray will often be needed to see if all is well.
Teeth commonly get knocked slightly loose with bleeding around the gums. Do not worry about this. Watch for future color changes.
If you can take ibuprofen, do so. It is a good pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory swelling reducer too.
If you see any major changes, call your doctor or dentist.
Dental treatment that your child may require:
Evaluation for concussion or spinal cord injury.
Teeth out of the mouth must be replaced and held in place IMMEDIATELY.
Cuts or scrapes will have to be cleaned out and possibly stitched.
Large chips off teeth can sometimes be glued back on so bring the piece into the dentist.
If the nerve is exposed, you will most likely need a root canal treatment some day.
If the whole top of the tooth is broken off below the gums, the root may have to be extracted.
Reduce swelling by alternating ice in a washcloth on 3 minutes, off 3 minutes.
Take an anti-inflammatory medicine.
Prevention is always better than restoration. Always wear a helmet and consider getting an inexpensive mouth guard from the sporting goods store before going sledding, boarding, or skiing.
Avoid sledding head first. People with front teeth that stick out or who have difficulty closing their lips over their teeth should be especially careful to avoid injury.
Have fun this winter and show off your pearly whites safely.
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