Tooth Trauma – Signs and Symptoms of Dental Emergencies

Admin/ November 22, 2023/ Health & Wellness, Oral & Dental Health/ 0 comments

Dental trauma occurs frequently and can be devastating if not managed promptly and correctly. Depending on the injury it can lead to pain, infection and/or loss of teeth. A dental emergency requires immediate treatment to prevent further complications, like a broken jaw and facial fractures, that can be life-threatening if left untreated. The goal of this article is to educate patients on the signs and symptoms of a dental emergency so they will seek care immediately when needed.

Symptoms of a dental emergency include severe pain, bleeding and/or swelling of the face or mouth. This can occur as a result of direct or indirect trauma to the tooth and/or surrounding structures. Often times the trauma is caused by accidents such as sports injuries, car crashes or physical violence. Some dental injuries are not considered emergencies but should still be seen as soon as possible in order to prevent worsening of the patient’s condition or even further damage to the tooth.

There are different categories of dental injuries, each having its own pathophysiology and unique management. These traumatic dental injuries (TDIs) include bacterial, viral or fungal infections; mechanically mediated injuries such as a tooth fracture, luxation or avulsion; and dental treatment complications including pulpal or periodontal inflammation and pain.

The most common complication of dental trauma is pain. This can be a sharp or intense pain, but it can also be a dull and persistent pain that does not go away. Bleeding is another common symptom of a dental emergency and is typically associated with direct trauma to the oral mucosa, or gums. Lastly, dislocation of the jaw is a severe dental injury and is often considered a medical emergency that should be handled by a physician in addition to a dentist.

When a tooth is cracked or chipped, it is important to try and keep any pieces of the tooth that may have broken off. It is also important to rinse the area with cold water and apply pressure if there is any bleeding. If the tooth is displaced, it is best to try to place it back into its normal position with very light finger pressure. If this is not successful, the dentist may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy teeth next to it.

If a tooth is completely knocked out, it is important to try and re-implant the tooth if possible (but only if it is a permanent tooth). It is not recommended to replant baby teeth. If the tooth is avulsed, it should be cleaned gently and brought to the dentist as soon as possible. If the injury is severe, the doctor may have to surgically attach it to the surrounding teeth. Patients with a knocked out adult front tooth should be referred to the hospital for additional evaluation and treatment as this is a medical emergency that could potentially threaten life. It is also important for patients to be informed about the risk of Ludwig’s angina which is an inflammatory disorder that affects the floor of the mouth and the pericardial sac, which can cause serious complications if not treated early on. If you need emergency dental attention in Northmoor, IL visit

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