Dental trauma is a term that refers to some different injuries that affect your teeth and surrounding tissues, including your jaw. It can occur due to some different causes, including a car accident, a sports-related injury, or a fall. Dental injuries vary in severity from things such as a chipped tooth to a broken jaw. Even minor dental trauma should be addressed as quickly as possible. Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. is here to help.
Cracks in your teeth vary in severity. They often result due to an abrupt blow to the face or because you bite down on a hard piece of food or object. Cracks, even small ones, can significantly impact the quality of your smile as well as your confidence. They can also compromise your oral health. Not only can cracks worsen over time, but deeper cracks also allow bacteria into the inner layers of the teeth, leading to a painful tooth infection.
Cracked teeth are often treated with dental crowns. A crown is a cap-like restoration that is designed to cover over the entire visible surface of your damaged tooth. It works to prevent further harm as well as prevent infections while restoring strength and allowing the tooth to function normally. If the damage is too severe, an extraction may be necessary.
Injuries to your teeth can also affect them below the gum line. Because damage below the gum line cannot often be seen, this type of trauma can go unnoticed until an infection develops. Infections not only cause significant pain, but they can also lead to the formation of an abscess. If an abscess ruptures, bacteria can spill into the bloodstream where it can lead to serious health issues. Even if you do not notice any damage following dental trauma, it is still important to be seen right away. Dental X-rays can help to detect root fractures, allowing us to provide you with treatment before an infection develops.
Tooth intrusion occurs when the tooth is knocked deeper into the socket. This type of injury is often more common with primary teeth when the alveolar bone is softer, but they can happen with adult teeth as well. When an intrusion occurs, you could be faced with pulp damage and root resorption. In some cases, the bone can fuse with the tooth. If an intrusion occurs, do not attempt to reset the tooth on your own. We can set your tooth back to its proper location and secure it with a splint while the bone and periodontal ligament heal.
Some types of dental trauma can result in tooth loss. If the tooth is knocked out cleanly, it is possible for the tooth to be replanted. After finding the tooth, clean it under running water. Be careful not to touch the root end. Store the tooth in a jar of milk or salt water until your appointment. If the tooth cannot be replanted, we can discuss your options for replacement.
A broken jaw can significantly impact the functions of your mouth and your quality of life. To treat a broken jaw, the bones need to be set. However, unlike setting a broken arm or a broken leg, your jaw cannot be placed in a cast. There are a couple of ways in which a jaw can be set. One way is through wiring the jaw shut, preventing all movements. A broken jaw can also be set with plates and screws.
If you have suffered dental trauma, it is essential to seek treatment immediately, even if the issue does not seem all that severe. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. at (562) 947-4781 today.